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An Unsuitable Boy Hardcover – 9 Jan 2017
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It was the year of 1998 when we were introduced to the work of Karan Johar for the first time. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai became an instant blockbuster by making a place in the heart of all - young or old. It was fresh way of presenting Cinema. I fell in love with K2H2 immediately. It was a beautiful movie- full of excitement, fun, love and emotions coupled with fantastic music. --By Puneet Gautam on 23 January 2017
Loved it.. am big fan of Bollywood industrie. More than that I loved this book for kj's view about his own life , other people, situations and how he overcame tough situations in life. Very motivating and everything in this book has covered all the small things we would like to know and read, more than that he has shown all the guts to write the truth without hurting anyone in the industry. --By Sabah Hameed on 31 January 2017
So well written... If u are looking for voyeurism it's not the correct book.. There is, thankfully no gossip.. Nothing that you are as a regular reader not aware of.. What the book does do is give you an insight into a mindset of a person, and how he became what he is today. The ups and downs of his career.. His beliefs and ideology... It's a great read. It felt almost like a narrative.. And it's wonderful how u can connect bits of yourself with what he went through and how he does what he does. Nicely done! --By Sophia Rahim on 28 January 2017
About the Author
KARAN JOHAR is one of the leading directors, producers and writers in the Hindi film industry. He is the son of a much-respected film producer, Yash Johar, who set up Dharma Productions in 1976 (when Karan was just five years old); Karan took over his father's legacy following his death in 2004. Over the years, he has built Dharma into a powerful, influential and flourishing entity.
Karan began his tryst with filmdom in 1995 as an assistant to filmmaker Aditya Chopra on the sets of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). Subsequently, Karan made his debut as director with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), which went on to become a blockbuster. He has directed six major films and produced over twenty, all starring some of the biggest names in Bollywood. He recently made his first appearance as actor, in Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet (2015). Most of his films have won several awards; he himself has won Best Director award several times.
Karan has tackled all sorts of compelling themes in his films, from family values (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham) and infidelity (Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna) to autism and religious prejudice (My Name Is Khan) and homosexuality (Bombay Talkies).
The multitalented Karan also began a celebrity chat show on TV in 2004, Koffee with Karan, which became a runaway hit. There have been four seasons till now and it is one of the most-watched shows, routinely making headlines. He has dabbled in fashion design, and even done the costumes for films such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Mohabbatein and Dil To Pagal Hai.
An extremely popular and well-liked member of the film fraternity, Karan has come to be regarded as a spokesman of the industry.
In 2007, he was chosen as one of 250 Global Young Leaders by the World Economic Forum.
POONAM SAXENA is a journalist with Hindustan Times, where she is the editor of the Sunday magazine.
She did her BA and MA in history from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, and went on to do an MPhil from Delhi University.
She has been a journalist for almost twenty years, first as a freelancer and then as features editor with newspapers such as the Asian Age. She wrote a popular TV review column in the Hindustan Times called 'Small Screen' for almost ten years.
She recently translated Gunahon ka Devta, acclaimed Hindi writer Dharamvir Bharati's iconic 1949 novel into English (Chander & Sudha, Penguin Viking); the translation has received glowing reviews.
From the Publisher
Life in the Spotlight:
Behind the Camera.
At Home with Mom.
Behind the Scene: Aye Dil Aye Mushkil.
With Sharukh and Rani.
Shooting at Blue Water Mall.
In conversation with Yash Uncle.
The Death of My Father
In a sense, it was like our whole world had fallen apart. We were a strong unit of three and it was like one-third of it, the epicentre of that unit, was crumbling. Actually, the enormity of the situation didn’t hit us at that moment.
But that night, when I went to Shah Rukh’s room - he was very, very, very close to my father - it really hit me like a ton of bricks. Farah Khan was there too. I told Shah Rukh. He broke down. Then I realised the reality of what was happening, because he wept like a baby. He held his stomach, and he just wept and wept, as if from his core.
He cried and said, ‘I’ve lost one father, I can’t lose another.’
He just kept saying that because he used to treat my father like his own. He used to call him ‘Tom uncle’, you know, with affection. I was so shocked at his reaction; I had gone numb. I couldn’t find the tears, because I couldn’t believe it. We were in an outdoor location, we were shooting a film, and my father was diagnosed with cancer in New York… What was going on?
I had to give my father the right send-off. My father was an Arya Samaji, so he had already told me: ‘When I go, I want the electric crematorium, and I don’t want any fuss.’
What he’d said was in my head. Amit uncle, who’s a very traditional man, asked me, ‘Are you sure?’
I said, ‘Yes, my father asked for it.’
He had wanted it and I wanted to do exactly what he had wanted. Of course, I knew that his ashes had to go to Haridwar, because the entire Johar family has records there, for centuries. But everything was a blur. The only time I think I was really, genuinely aware, was when his body came to the house and there was a fly that was buzzing around.
Then we went to the electric crematorium. We didn’t take my mother because she couldn’t have borne it. People kept saying that women didn’t go to funerals, but I just didn’t want my mother to be there.
I will never be able to do an electric cremation of anyone I love, because it’s like putting somebody into an oven. Putting my father into that oven, the sliding in and sliding out, the insensitivity of that ritual just broke me into a million pieces. I sank to the ground and wept. I kept saying, ‘He can’t go into an oven and come back out like that. That cannot be the end of my father. It cannot be the end of such a life. One of the nicest people in this world cannot just go into a tray and come out like this.’ That was what really broke me, and I kept thinking, is this what life is all about? That you live, you put so much of your heart and soul into your work and other people’s lives and relationships; you create this equity that is outstandingly powerful and earnest and sincere, and you amount to this? This is what happens to you in the end?
When you have a funeral pyre, there is something pious about it, but this electric cremation—I kept saying, ‘No, this cannot be, you have to come back. You have to come back and say you’re more worthy than what just happened. No, you can’t go.’
That’s what happens when lives go, you cannot believe it. Death is such a finality. In the end, you just amount to dust. Bones and dust. Spiritually, you go into a realm, to a soul space, but that’s not something that was visible to me. My father was finally dead and gone, and I had to deal with it with all the strength that I had built up in those ten months. That shield I had worn to protect my mother and myself had just crumbled. It just fell apart.
I remember coming back to the house, and there were people I had to meet, but I just went into my room. There was a tiny closet there. I went inside, closed the door, sat down and wept. I just wept and wept. I think it’s the last time I’ve ever cried like that. People were banging on the door outside, but I said, ‘Leave me alone, please give me twenty minutes. I don’t want to meet anybody.’ It was like a shriek. I was clutching my stomach tightly. I just couldn’t believe what had happened. I don’t think his death made me feel like that; but that ritual, that electric cremation, just broke my heart. It made me realize that it can be so trivial, the end, you know. It can amount to absolutely nothing.
Eventually, I stepped out and went to Mum.
It’s been over ten years now, but she’s just degenerated, she’s an emotional mess. She’s always shaking and vulnerable. Her health has taken a turn for the worse in the last decade. She’s never been able to get over it. I always say that when you get a marriage right, the loss of a spouse can be much worse than the loss of a parent. You get over the death of a parent, but you cannot get the death of a spouse out of your life.
It’s so strange how marriage today has taken such a beating as an institution. But that generation got it right, my parents became each other’s soulmates, companions, each other’s strength, support, everything. I really feel that my mother is half of herself today, because she feels she’s lost a part of herself with my father. A big part of her spirit died when my father died. Her zest for life, her excitement for things… I don’t think I can ever repair that, because for me to repair that, I would have to get my father back. And that is not a possibility. So I think I lost two parents on that day. I lost my father’s body and I lost my mother’s spirit.
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Recommend this book to bollywood buffs, autobiography lovers and people who hate Karan Johar but can't articulate why.
I admit I was curious to know about him, in places he comes across a snob who looks down upon his own friends who speak in Hindi to being the typical South Mumbai person. He speaks better than he writes! Repetitive, it was easy to flip a few pages and know that you haven't missed anything. You can't do that with a good book can you? Pick it up if you want, but even if you don't you will not miss much.
Writing wise, it's not a gem. "I" was being used too many times, sometimes thrice in a sentence! The proofreader too, didn't do his job. There are so many spelling and grammar mistakes which is painful! May be the second edition will correct this errors. Otherwise, it's just okay kinda book.
Secondly when a successful person like Kjo tells abt the struggle in his life, very different of ours, it becomes a good read.
He time and again mentions his bonding with his parents, the constant pampering from his father as he was a late issue, the role of Adi Chopra and SRK in his life: u r bound to get mesmamarized, if you are a film buff, it talks about the behind the scenes of many successful movies of Dharma Production.
Kjo makes various candid confession in this book.
Also I should mention the film marketing aspects of various successful movies are mentioned by Kjo so reluctantly.
So this book has drama, this book has learnings, this book has gossips, highly recommended by bollywood movie buffs.
I loved Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. I can watch it a hundred times and cry each time. But am not a fan of all KJ's work. In this book I love the way he has addressed issues in a casual everyday manner. He has opened his heart, his insecurities and fears. You can't help but love this funny, irreverent, messed-up person.
A big hug for you Karan if you are reading this and wishing you the very best.
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