Living a life on your own terms is equally living on the edge in this country. While fame can save your arse some time, more others, it chides you, ridicules you. Who knows it better than Karan Johar who in spite of being an A-listed filmmaker and celebrity in India has been the butt of jokes for twitter and tabloid alike.
What started as a giggly Kantabai joke in ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ has turned into a serious biography today. Karan Johar’s book, “An Unsuitable Boy” talks about his discovery of his sexuality along with the consequential confusion, curiosity and trolling it brought with it.
Here are the excerpts from the book revealed by Penguin Books India:
On refusing to call himself “gay”
“I have never ever talked about my orientation or sexuality because whether I am heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, it is my concern. I refuse to talk about it…I have not been brought up to talk about my sex life.”
“Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don’t need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won’t only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this. Which is why I Karan Johar will not say the three words that possibly everybody knows about me.”
On being trolled and questioned in the name of humor and curiosity
“I know I am the butt of many jokes, pun intended. I know how my sexuality is discussed. I have become like the poster boy of homosexuality in this country.But honestly, I have no problem with people saying what they want about me.”
“One man came up to me once very cockily at Heathrow airport and said, ‘Is it true that you are a homo?’ He was with his wife and child, and he asked me this. I looked at him and said, ‘Why, are you interested?’ And he said, ‘Hey, what-what what!’ And I said, ‘Don’t what-what me.’ And I walked out…Some major sections of the English media are very sensitive in the way they approach this question. I’ll be asked, ‘Oh, there is some conjecture about, you know, your sexuality.’ Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. ” writes Karan.
On being unaware of himself for a long time
“When I was a kid, I was very backward in this department. I still remember the first time someone told me about blow jobs. There was a kid in class who told me, ‘You know what a blow job is?’ I said, ‘No, what is it? I’ve heard about it though.’ He said, ‘You take off all your clothes and put your fan on high speed, and that’s a blow job.’ I said, ‘I can do that. What is the big deal in that?’ And at 12, I remember, I removed my clothes and put my fan on full speed. Later, I told him about it and he said, ‘You did it!’ I said, ‘Yeah, yeah, I did it three times.’ He said, ‘You had three blow jobs yesterday!’ I said, ‘Yeah, I had three blow jobs.’ ”
“I brushed it under the carpet all through the making of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. At that time, I was also very large and was grappling with my weight issues. I felt physically undesirable. Post Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, I had actually started working a little on my looks. I had lost some weight and had groomed myself a bit. Finally, I had developed a little spring in my step, a little confidence. That’s when my first encounter happened, after the release of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, out of the country.”
On being linked to his “father-figure, elder brother” Shah Rukh Khan
“People talk nonsense, and if a man does not have an extramarital affair, he is supposed to be gay.”
On his mother being un-embarrassed about him on a roast show
“The only thing that bothered me was when people stood on the high moral ground and said, ‘Why was your mother in the front row?’ But she’s cool…Do you know that I tried to stop her from coming but she insisted? If they’re going to make jokes about my sexual orientation, I’m okay about it. I’m not embarrassed about who I am. I’m not apologetic.”
Behind this entertaining, ace Bollywood favorite is a vulnerable, sentimental person who has been repeatedly condemned for just being who he is. His biography “An unsuitable boy” looks promising to give us a sneak into his behind the larger-than-life scenes.
The book is now available on Amazon.