A generic tuxedo and bow
Karan Johar, the preeminent confectioner of cloying convivialities and familial pieties often mistaken as movies, has turned 40. To celebrate that landmark he threw what is regarded as a benchmark bash on May 25 in that if you did not get invited your benchmark must be considered bashed.
Apparently the guests were told to show up in very formal and very chic clothes like real movie stars. Most of them were real movie stars. So many men showed up in tuxedos while women in evening gowns in Mumbai’s sweltering heat probably struggling to keep their armpits dry. In the run-up to its famous monsoon season, Mumbai is unforgiving of any fabric other than cotton because cotton soaks up moisture and sags as if in deference to the weather.
Johar, who has a reputation for being a great host as well as a particularly generous producer, did not let the guests down going by the media reports. The party drew in who’s who of Hindi cinema, all smiling from ear to ear and dressed from shoulders to toes. Johar himself turned out in a tux with a Tom Ford bow tie. (How, you may ask, am I privy to all this information sitting in my basement? Well, there is that thing called broadband that streams television channels from around the world). There were some like Sanjay Dutt who defied the dress code and showed up in an impossibly comfortable white cotton pathani suit.
Just about now I am asking myself, why in the blue blazes am I writing about Karan Johar, aka KJo, and his birthday party? And that too with such familiarity? One obvious reason is that Karan Johar is a powerful keyword on the net and it draws traffic to an obscure blog like mine. Another reason is that Karan Johar is a powerful keyword on the net and it draws traffic to an obscure blog like mine. There is a third reason but you get the drift. I can guarantee that many more visitors would end up here because of KJo than the number that my post about Pakistan’s power woes brought in yesterday.
It is important for a blog like mine to mix it up in order to ensnare fickle readership by occasionally surrendering to powerful keywords such as KJo and all activities that they are involved in.
Irrespective of what I think of him, Karan Johar has embodied the quintessence of mainline Hindi cinema in the last 15 years, which incidentally is the number of years he has completed as a director and producer. I have nothing but respect for those who regularly create content unmindful of its quality and how it might be received. It may not sound like it but I do mean it as a genuine compliment. Those who consume content do not quite realize that creating it is quite demanding. Its quality comes into question only because it was created in the first place.
I say this as a purely factual statement shorn of any implied slight or smugness but I have seen only a total of 30 minutes of Johar’s two movies ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’ and ‘Kal Ho Na Ho.*’ But those were enough for me to characterize them as cloying convivialities and familial pieties.Much more important than what I think of Johar’s movies, is the fact that he continues to make them with admirable commitment. From what I have heard of KJo on KJo, he has a healthy and self-deprecating humor about himself, which is always a plus for me.
He has also established himself and his movie production company Dharma as one of Hindi film industry’s most sought after names. All of that has to demand some measure of talent and a great deal of work. It is for that I applaud someone like Karan Johar. Watching his movies is another matter altogether. It is an acquired taste which I have happily failed to acquire.
* Written by him but directed by Nikhil Advani