The 90’s were not a very pleasing time for Bollywood. There were the revolutionary TV sets replacing the charm of cinema, the pirated CD’s making their place and then the mafias and underworld getting a strong hold on Bollywood.
In 1998, Karan Johar’s first directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was all set to release. The biggest blockbuster of all times, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai saw quite some shady times. Here’s an excerpt from Karan Johar’s autobiography, “An Unsuitable Boy” which explicitly divulges Shahrukh Khan’s heart-melting tale of true friendship.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had it’s date fixed for its release and premiere and it was clashing with Amitabh-Govinda starrer ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’ .
“On Monday, we were writing out the cards, dispatching them through production. My maasi had come to the house to help us. I went down to drop her. My mother was alone at home, even the servants were not there, all of them had gone out. The phone rang. My mother picked it up, and it was a call from the underworld. A man’s voice said, ‘Your son’s wearing a red T-shirt, I can see him right now. And we’re going to shoot him if you release this film on Friday.
“For some reason, they didn’t want the film to be released that Friday; we didn’t know why. It was a call from Abu Salem, and my mother was shaking with terror. She put the phone down and ran towards the door. She pressed the lift number, and I was coming up. As I came up those nine floors, she was going through really tough moments. When I reached, she just dragged me to the room and said, ‘You have to call the cops. This call has come and they said they’re going to shoot you, they don’t want you to release your film this Friday…’”
“That evening, my father, Shah Rukh, the cops, Adi, everybody was there. The cops advised us, ‘We will protect you but you have to go ahead. You can’t show your fear. You have to have the premiere on Thursday.’
By my mother said, ‘What does this mean?’
We were a simple family. We’d never had the underworld calling us to stop the release of a film. We’d never dreamt that something like this could even happen to us.
My mother said, ‘We don’t want all this nonsense.’”
They went on to hold the premier the same day as it was fixed for, However, Karan was kept in a small room protected by two security guards. It was his dream to watch Shammi Kapoor walk to his premier and hence he was feeling really upset to miss the opportunity. When Hiroo Johar, mother of Karan Johar told this to Shah Rukh Khan, he literally dragged Karan out to let him witness his dream coming true.
“Shah Rukh said, ‘What nonsense!’ He went inside and dragged me out. He said, ‘I’m standing here in front of you. Let’s see who shoots you. I’m standing right here.’”
“I said, ‘No, no, no, my mother was…’
He told my mother, ‘Nothing’s gonna happen. I’m a Pathan. Nothing can happen to me and nothing will happen to your son. He’s like my brother. Nothing’s gonna happen.’”
Karan soon left the country to escape the consequences as feared by his family and the police. While his dream came true, he couldn’t witness the standing ovation he received from the best of the best legends in the industry.
No wonder, Shah Rukh has been Karan Johar’s best bud since the day!