Karan Johar will win you over: Season 2 of The Icons with Twinkle Khanna
Maybe it’s time to reconsider everything you think you know about the multi-hyphenate
Karan Johar lives in two worlds, always. The director with a cultural clairvoyance few can mimic and the performer who loves being in front of the camera. The “Seema Aunty” of Bollywood and the hopeless romantic who can’t find love (unless he’s orchestrating it for someone else). His designer-filled wardrobe could power the GDP of a small country, but Johar still struggles with body image and self-love. In the second season of The Icons with Twinkle Khanna, the most popular man in Bollywood opens up to his friend of 40 years in a way you’ve probably never seen before.
“That word used to really haunt me”
Johar recalls being treated unkindly for being different, saying, “You know there was a word in the ’80s called ‘pansy’, and it used to really haunt me. It wasn’t my weight to that extent, but it was that word that made me feel like I wasn’t like the other children.” The taunt followed him from school to college, even though it wasn’t “my fucking identity”, he says, revealing that it’s made him particularly compassionate to other kids face bullying. (Here’s how you can protect your own child from being bullied)
“I needed to do something that made me feel good about myself, and it’s not my body”
“When I’m changing my T-shirt, I’m so conscious because I think somebody will look at this body, and judge it,” he explains, adding that he’s used fashion as a weapon against his own negative self-image.
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“To overcompensate for that, the fashion came in. I needed to do something that made me feel good about myself, and it’s not my body. All these complexes have not left me, they’ve doubled up because today you’re in that era where health, fitness and how you look is all out there.”
“People somehow really think I’m a dumbfuck”
It’s time to whip out those dusty grade mark sheets if you’ve ever trolled Karan Johar with jokes about his IQ, because you’re taking on a college topper. “I’m academic, it’s very important to me and to how I raise my children,” he reveals. “Focus and discipline that education teaches you, nothing else does with that level of intensity. And today also, I make it to places on time, I’m very prepared about the scenes I do, I believe in the power of education and I want my children to be educated no matter what vocation they choose later in life.”
“There was a decade where I felt, why am I so low in the love department?”
After years of being single, Karan Johar has realised that he’s so used to being the master of his day and life. “I’m only accountable to my mum and two children really. I don’t want to bring in any person anymore, though I’m not saying never. I have never been in a solid relationship in all my 50 years, there have been fleeting instances where I’ve felt there could be a potential relationship, they’ve never fructified because I’m the first one to run out always.”
Watch the whole episode to learn more.