Mumbai: Karan Johar took the nation by storm with his bold and unapologetic revelations about his life, friends, colleagues and most importantly his identity, in his biography ‘ An Unsuitable Boy’.
Though he did not utter those ‘three simple words’- ‘I am gay’- the filmmaker in a way revealed almost everything about him in the book.
Hence, the American daily NY Times, in their recent article paid KJo a tribute for being what he is.
The daily writes, “An ocean of innuendo has always surrounded Mr. Johar’s sexuality. He has done more than anybody to introduce the idea of homosexuality into the Indian home. It would seem no closet door was better primed to spring open than his. And yet when he tries the latch, he finds it sticks.”
Further applauding the steps taken by Johar to speak up about homosexuality, both personally and professionally, NY Times wrote, “What makes Mr. Johar’s case so much of a piece with this particular moment in India is that while he has been circumspect on his sexual orientation, he has, both in his life and his work, been breathtakingly explicit about sex: In 2013, he gave the Indian screen a smouldering gay kiss in ‘Bombay Talkies’; two years later, as roast master in a comic event that millions saw on YouTube, he joked before a live audience, with his mother present, of being the recipient of anal sex; in his new book, that same curious mixture of reticence and candour pervades.”
Adding, “Mr. Johar will not use the male pronoun, but he writes openly and often movingly about everything from the pain of unreciprocated love to the aridity of having to pay for sex.”
Penning the 44-year-old filmmaker’s loneliness and struggle to be in his skin amidst an ocean of people, the daily quotes, “One recent night in Mumbai, I found myself at a small party at Mr. Johar’s house. A group of stars had gathered on a balcony, overlooking the liquid darkness of sea and city lights.”
They continued, “As I watched the producer among his friends, now a star lovingly nurtured, now a hero, aging but still handsome, I became acutely aware of his solitude. He is of that generation that came of sexual age maybe five or 10 years before the freedoms of this recent time burst upon us. That meant that Mr. Johar, though he has tried actively to find love – even, as he writes in his memoir, resorting to an agency that deals exclusively with the ultra rich and famous – faces the prospect of growing old alone. It’s a theme he returns to again and again in the book, as does his desire to have children. I hope he does.”
They even spoke about how the Dharma Productions head honcho explored the concept of homosexuality through his works- be it ‘Dostana’ or most recent ‘Kapoor & Sons.’
Quoting Karan, NY Times wrote about the struggle he had to face to get an actor on board to portray the gay character, until Fawad Khan came finally agreed to the offer.
Drawing a conclusion to their thoughts, the daily ended the article, with these amazing lines that read, “Mr. Johar may not have uttered the three magic words, but his life and his work are a portrait in courage. Watching him play the host that night, I couldn’t help thinking that, for all his contradictions, he is a man who has done more than anyone to make India safe for love. One wants him not merely to be brave, but happy – and, needless to say, gay.”