A star-child, Karan Johar, carved a niche for himself in Bollywood. He is known for his candid opinions, despite the rough weather he had to face. Kunal Khemu shares his birthday with Karan. A gifted child actor, he has matured into a talented actor on the silver screen. Smriti profiles them, in the regular column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Karan Johar: Living up to Great Expectations and Making a Mark in Bollywood
He inherited a legacy in Bollywood. He carried it forward with grace to new heights, by his creativity. His friends call him KJO, we know him as Karan Johar. He is an acclaimed director, producer, screenwriter, costume designer, actor and television personality. Karan was born on 25th of May to Yash and Hiroo Johar. His father Yash Johar was a renowned film producer, who produced films under his banner Dharma Productions. His production house made many commercially successful movies such as Dostana, Muqaddar Ka Faisla, Agneepath, Gumraah, Duplicate, etc. With his father being a big name in the industry, Karan grew up in close vicinity of the art of filmmaking and many talented artists, who worked with his father. Thus, it was but natural that he never thought of any alternate career, besides the entertainment industry.
Though he made a name for himself as a director, he stepped into the entertainment industry by acting in a television series, Indradhanush, for Doordarshan. His association with the film industry started when he became an assistant director in Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge. He even did a small role in the film. His association with Yashraj films continued, with Karan being a creative member of Yahsraj Raj productions, Veer Zara, Dil Toh Pagal Hai, and Mohabbatein.
In 1998, he debuted as a director with the mega hit Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, a romantic drama. It got a positive response from the critics and hysterical acceptance by the masses. Writing for Planet Bollywood, critic Anish Khanna commented, “Karan Johar makes an impressive directorial debut, has a good script sense and knows how to make a film with S-T-Y-L-E.” The film won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and most of the major awards at the 44th Filmfare Awards.
With his later directorial ventures, Karan lived up to his fans expectations, dealing with various subjects, be it a family drama in Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham, or Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, which dealt with a sensitive and controversial issue of marital infidelity. His film, My Name Is Khan, in 2010, got him rave reviews for his unconventional directing skills and his sensitivity towards autism, as his hero was an autistic. The film won him the second Filmfare award for the Best Director.
In the year 2012, he gifted Bollywood with three very talented actors, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Siddhartha Malhotra, in the movie, Student of the Year. The film was not as successful as his earlier films, got mixed reviews from the critics. Some called it “supremely entertaining and enjoyable,” while others called it “a film which suffers from the lack-of-a-story syndrome.” The film, however, gave a platform to the three newcomers to establish themselves in the industry and they justified Karan’s decision of casting them, by becoming successful actors in their later films.
Just not actors, Karan has given opportunities to many directors to make movies under his production house. His success continued even with these different directors, as these associations gave many commercially hit movies such as Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya, Kal Ho Na Ho, Dostana, Agneepath, 2 States.
His latest directorial venture, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, was also a hit and was in news for the unusual pairing of Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai. Their on-screen chemistry and hot scenes were a rage. Although the movie was successful, Karan got a mixed review for his script and direction. Some liked it, while others thought that he got lost somewhere in the film, which had a loose script. Karan is often criticised for making films, which have larger than life characters, invariably having lavish and rich lifestyles, adding lots of pomp and show to wedding sequences, which according to critics, has instigated the escalating cost of normal Indian weddings. But, there is no doubt that his films are a visual delight and connect emotionally with the viewers.
Karan is a versatile person, besides being an acclaimed director, he is an immensely popular television personality too. His talk show, Koffee with Karan has been getting the highest TRPs in all seasons and is eagerly awaited by the viewers. He has been amazing as a judge for a dance reality show and surprised everyone with his dancing skills.
Just like his movies, his personal life is also under the constant scrutiny of the media and masses. Speculations about his sexual preferences never rest, with alleged rumours of his relationship with superstar Shahrukh Khan, adding fire to it. In his biography, The Unsuitable Boy, he wrote, “Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don’t need to scream it out. I won’t only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this.” He even admitted that he was traumatised by the rumours about him and Shahrukh Khan, as he considered the latter as a father figure.
Karan is very candid in his statements regarding all the controversies involving him. Be it a rift with Kareena Kapoor or the ending of 25-year-old friendship with Kajol. He bares all. He also had to face the wrath of Shiv Sena and MNS for working with Pakistani actors and a FIR was lodged against him for his participation in the controversial, AIB Roast”. But come what may, controversy’s child Karan Johar never shies away from talking about anything. Life goes on for him.
His 45th birthday, on 25th May, is more special, as he welcomes two new members in his family, yes he has just become a father of twins (a boy and a girl) through surrogacy. Different Truths wishes him a future full of happiness and love.
Kunal Khemu: A Child-actor Metamorphosed into Mature Actor
Kunal Khemu is one of the popular actors of today, acknowledged for his acting ability, since he was a child actor.
Kunal was born on 25th May, 1983, to actors Ravi and Jyoti Khemu, in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. His grandfather, Motilal Kemmu, is a renowned Kashmiri playwright and has been awarded by many awards from the government of Jammu and Kashmir, he is also a recipient of the Sahitya Academy Award and the Padmashree.
Kunal’s career in acting started as a child actor in a serial for Doordarshan, Gul Gulsahn Gulfaam and went on to star in many Hindi films. His first Bollywood movie as a child artist was Sir with Mahesh Bhatt. As a child, he acted in many films, including Raja Hindustani, Zakhm, Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, etc. His portrayal of young Ajay Devgan, in Zakhm, is still fresh in the viewer’s mind.
As an adult, he debuted again with a Mahesh Bhatt movie, Kalyug, based on the pornography industry. His further releases were Traffic Signal, Dhol, Superstar, etc. Though he worked with established and good directors, his solo releases were not very successful commercially. However, he was a part of the superhit movie, Golmaal, by Rohit Shetty, in which he was in the supporting role of Laxman. His last release was a comedy drama, Guddu Ki Gun, in 2015, and his next release will be, Golmal Again, with Rohit Shetty, in 2017.
At present, he is eagerly awaiting his first child, with his wife Soha Ali Khan. Kunal was in a live-in relationship with Soha for two years before they married in a simple private ceremony on 25th January 2015. Soha is the daughter of Sharmila and Mansoor Ali Khan, the Nawab of Pataudi and the sister of Bollywood superstar, Saif Ali Khan, and a renowned actress herself. News of rift in the marriage of Kunal and Soha made the headlines, but both denied it. The soon to be arriving new member of the family also seals the fact, that all is well between this beautiful couple.
We, at Different Truths, wish him a very happy 34th birthday and hope it brings more fame and success to him.
Photos from the internet.
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Smriti Maheshwari loves cooking, reading, mostly fiction and thrillers. She enjoys mythological stories too. She also loves meeting people and making friends, socialising, and is a big movie buff. A homemaker and a dreamer, she stays in Allahabad with her husband.