How does Karan Johar get away with it?

What makes Bollywood celebrities spill the beans about their personal lives on Koffee With Karan? Is it merely because of the much sought after hamper or there is something more to it

Photo Courtesy: Social Media
Photo Courtesy: Social Media

Subhash K Jha

Why is Karan Johar allowed to ask questions that his television anchors wouldn’t even dare? His threeway gupshup with “two of the hottest men” (Johar’s description) on Sunday evening had me going back to what a young actor once confided in me about this host.

“Karan Johar can make any actor do anything. Since he behaves in a particular way…you know, a bit of a ‘fellow camper’, a bit ditsy and coquettish, that straight heterosexual men tend to get indiscreet and reckless around him, Just to please him. He has power like no one else in the film industry.”

“To his credit, he never misuses that power. But others around him are so overpowered by his power that they are constantly trying to seduce him in a non-physical way. There is always that feeling of ‘we-are-willing-to-crawl-that-extra-mile for-you’ feeling for Karan,” the actor had said.

I knew exactly what he meant when I watched the latest episode of Koffee With Karan, where Siddharth Malhotra, a Karan Johar protégé shared the sofa and confidences with Aditya Roy Kapoor.

Significantly both the young actors are struggling to keep their heads above water. Neither has had a success in a long time. Malhotra’s last four films were thundering flops. As for Roy Kapoor, I don’t think he has ever had a success after Aashiqui 2.

So, what were they doing on Johar’s infamous couch? Is that throne meant only for the hot and happening (and not only for the hot ?) Malhotra and Roy Kapoor were invited to remind the world that they still counted, that the show was far from over for Sid and Adi (as they are known in their circle where KJO presides). How could they not be ‘happening’ when Karan Johar had them over on his show? I mean, have you ever seen a loser on that couch!

When you are invited on Koffee With Karan, you are expected to spill the beans  

Once there, Malhotra and Roy Kapoor seemed to have been instructed to just let go and not hold back. Dating, girlfriends, crushes and crushed crushes…everything was out in the open. Particularly distasteful was Malhotra, known to be sober, discreet and no kiss-and-tell type, who acted out of character (as most guests do on Karan’s show) letting us know he hadn’t met Alia Bhatt since they stopped dating. One moment. When had he ever confessed to dating Alia in the first place? So why was he talking about not dating Alia? The answer to that question lies in the notorious Hardik Pandya episode. Guests are expected to be flirty and audacious, to cross the line and go into the forbidden zone on Karan Johar’s show.

Karan, in real life, knows everybody’s affairs. It is no different on the show. He keeps tabs on all the affairs and never mind if it affects the private lives of those whose names are tossed around. Have you ever seen Deepika Padukone behaving gracelessly any time except on Karan’s show when she wanted to gift Ranbir Kapoor condoms (for those still in the dark, the young Kapoor is reputed for not enjoying protection).

Was Alia’s permission taken before bringing up her name in Malhotra’s roster of wrecked romances? When you are invited on Koffee With Karan, you are expected to spill the beans.

And never mind the right to privacy. It is left at the door when you enter the ritzy, adventurous, daring and psychedelic world of the master entertainer Karan Johar. Let’s bow to that.

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