#CoversOf2018: ‘Dhadak’, Hooking Up & More — Karan Johar Bares It All In This EXCLUSIVE Tell-All
While Karan Johar might be sitting at the heart of Bollywood, embodying every quality that defines the industry – good, bad and ugly – the man has effectively changed the landscape of Hindi cinema, without taking himself too seriously – and he doesn’t really care what you think of him.
Let’s get the accusations out of the way first, I thought, as I planned this interview, gearing up to ask “difficult questions” of Johar. We were shooting him at BFF Gauri Khan’s store and I walked in, ready for some confrontation.
I walked into the store to see Karan pouting for the camera, his eyes staring through the oversized sunglasses that he is in love with these days. I looked at the clothes lying around and giggled to myself. When Karan isn’t smiling, his resting bitch face is gaunt and unfriendly. He didn’t smile for the camera, expertly holding stances and flaunting his sharp, post-weight loss jaw line. He was being the diva, the showstopper.
Jacket by Diesel; T-shirt by IH NOH UM NIT; sunglasses by For Art Sake
When I was prepping for all the accusations I would fling at him, I was stumped. So, Karan Johar is the poster boy for Bollywood cinema? He is peddling regressive content and soppy melodrama? The last Dharma film you can remotely call melodramatic is We Are Family. The film released in 2010. In the last two years, Dharma has produced films like Kapoor and Sons, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Dear Zindagi, Ittefaq, Lust Stories and Raazi. Even their bad films – like OK Jaanu and Baar Baar Dekho – were interesting attempts. So, Johar and Dharma are nowhere close to the kind of commercial and massy potboilers a Rohit Shetty or Salman Khan make.
The next accusation is of course the big fat N word – Nepotism. Kangana Ranaut called him the flag bearer of nepotism in the industry, the movie mafia and so on. So, I thought it would be a good exercise to check exactly how nepotistic the man and his production house have been. Let’s call the actors belonging to industry families “insiders” and the ones who don’t, “outsiders”. In the 34 films Dharma has produced, 24 insiders have been cast in leading roles, as compared to an almost equal 22 outsiders – including Shah Rukh Khan (this data is inclusive of multiple project appearances). Also, of those 34 films, 23 have been directed by film-makers who do not belong to film families, and seven have been directed by Johar. So, I am not sure whether the nepotism accusation holds ground. Are we just squabbling over the fact that Johar might not be socialising with actors outside film families? Has he been made the poster boy just because he is the most visible and outspoken of film-makers? Or was it the Kangana debacle that just turned him into the king of the coterie for everybody?
Long hooded coat paired with a front panel insert sweatshirt by Hilfiger Collection, Tommy Hilfiger
I have always believed that Johar is much more talented and nuanced a film-maker than he allows himself to be. Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna was an extremely risqué and non-conventional film to make with the biggest stars in the mainstream space in 2006. My Name is Khan, though a drag of a film at times, was something commercial film-makers wouldn’t dare to do as easily as Karan did. Even his most recent outing, Lust Stories, a collection of four short films on lust and desire by four film-makers, is a crackling film and is much better than those of Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee and Zoya Akhtar. But like he had patiently explained to me during my first interview with him in 2012, he is responsible for the smooth running of a whole company and his creative freedom will definitely have to take a backseat to that. Also, I remember him being warm, polite, extremely funny, self-deprecating and very relatable. I remember liking him. So, this time, when I watched him being shot, putting forth this powerful but unapproachable you-can’t-sit-with-us persona, I knew it was an act. Thankfully, the world has changed in the last few years. Karan Johar has been able to be the person he always wanted to be. His autobiography openly discussed his personal life and sexuality, he has become the father of twins Yash and Roohi, he has established a fashion statement (“statement” is an understatement) and is wearing exactly what he has always wanted to, and a few years back, he also emceed India’s first roast with AIB, Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor and normalised insult comedy. Most importantly, Karan is living his life unabashedly, unapologetically. While he might be a gossip queen obsessed with fashion, glamour and social media, you cannot ignore the fact that he is one of the most important figures in the Hindi film industry, and an astute businessman who has turned his father’s humble film production company into the biggest and most profitable in the country. Karan Johar is ambitious, intelligent and powerful.
“I’m always going to be seen as the filmmaker who makes glamorous films about rich peoples’ lives. That is imprinted in people’s minds for eternity and there’s nothing I can do to change it.”
“He can make or break careers,” a young actress tells me, on condition of anonymity at a party. “If Karan likes you, it’s going to open doors. If he doesn’t, trust me, you should find another career.” Another aspiring movie actor trying hard to move on from TV echoes the sentiment. “Let’s be honest: if there is one person every actor wants to be noticed by, it’s Karan. You can work with everybody in this industry, but you have truly arrived when you work with Dharma. But then again, he can only give you that first or second push. Look at Sidharth Malhotra. Even after the debut of a lifetime, if you don’t have it in you, you just don’t. Even his other Dharma films have flopped.” The fact that these actors don’t want to be quoted kind of proves them right. No one wants to piss Johar off. Would you do anything to be in a KJo movie, I ask them? “Absolutely. Anything. Whatever he wants.” Anything? I pester. The actor laughs. “I know what you are asking. And yeah, anything.” I am not surprised by the answer. He also did call me up later to politely insinuate that it would be great if I could let Karan know that.
I talk to a few stylists about his personal style before I meet him. They laugh. They won’t talk on record, they say. “Why can Karan not wear clothes that are of his size? Even Kareena told him off on Koffee. He wears sacks. Don’t quote me!”, one of them squealed. “I don’t know what this OTT mania is about, man,” another quipped. “I understand statement dressing, but when every single element in your look is a statement piece, you are screaming ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ from the rooftops. And that is not cool. Karan doesn’t need to do that.” “I think he has an interesting style. He likes standing out in a crowd and that’s something that works, but not all the time though,” ace stylist Atmaj Vyas tells me. “I feel he goes a bit overboard on the velvet and from time to time, his looks get a bit much. To be honest, I’d love to see him in something like an Antar Agni or even Shantanu and Nikhil.”
Blazer by Canali; sweatshirt by Love Moschino available at The Collective; eyewear by Gucci
“Johar’s film-making may thrive on scale, but I’ve always felt his storytelling comes from a personal space,” film critic Rahul Desai tells me. “Despite the escapism factor, his movies are very Indian, in the sense that they are representative of how this country tends to think of emotions. I like that he hasn’t changed in that context, irrespective of the changing movie making culture around him.” Desai is quite right. Film commentator and writer Raja Sen shares the sentiment. “Karan Johar’s growth as a filmmaker can, for me, primarily be charted from the way he used to make films for other people — a (correctly) perceived audience — to the way he has gradually started making more complicated and messier films, films I wager he would himself watch. He has always been a canny commercial filmmaker, adept at ticking off boxes from a masala checklist, but now his work shows more audacity and some raw fearlessness.” I reach out to his contemporaries and one of them shoots back – “Karan Johar can make the worst film of the decade, but will still find a way of selling it like the biggest hit ever. He knows the business better than anybody. And that’s the final word.”
So, armed with all these perspectives, I settle down to quiz the man after our shoot. He smiles, curls up on a couch, very cat-like, and we kick off.
Let’s talk business first. What’s lined up for Dharma’s immediate future?
It’s been an exciting couple of years. Dharma has gone from strength to strength in terms of providing all kinds of content. I still remember, the first film that we did from the old office was Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, and the first one in the new office was Kapoor & Sons. So, it kind of shows the changing syntax of what we’ve tried to do – one family film to the other, but totally diametrically different approaches. For some reason, I don’t think I’m ever going to get credit for trying to do different things. I’m always going to be seen as the film-maker who makes glamorous films about rich peoples’ lives. The lifestyle and certain films are imprinted in people’s minds for eternity and there’s nothing I can do to change it. I’ll direct a Lust Stories, I’ll make a My Name Is Khan, a film on infidelity, I’ll dabble in homosexuality – but I’m going to be seen as ‘he makes NRI films about rich people, gloss and glamour and quintessentially one kind of brand Bollywood film’. So I’ve grown to realise that it’s not going to come my way, I need to do what I need to do. I’ve always energised younger film-makers at Dharma Productions, so there’ve been lots of new kids who’ve made their first films and continue to do so. We’ve launched 15 non-nepotistic film-makers, but of course, I’ll always be blamed for promoting nepotism.
I’ve realised in the last couple of years that I either want to make the big event films or the high concept films like Brahmastra or a Kalank or now a Takht. We’re making a Kesari also, which is based on the battle of Sarahgiri, or we’ll make a horror film or a film like Raazi, which was a cerebral spy thriller, or a Kapoor & Sons or we’ll throw in a love story like Dhadak, but eventually I think our endeavour is to do high-concept or big-event. That’s the ideology of Dharma Productions. We also want to start a digital arm and I’m going to do that in the next two months so there’s a lot of content providing – I’m a big believer in big-screen entertainment so I’m not going to let that go, but I also know that digital is the explosion that’s happening around us.
Did the response to Lust Stories make you sit up and feel like, as you mentioned, starting a digital arm?
I’ve always known that digital will always be a large part of our entertainment future, and doing Lust Stories was not something that we designed to do on a digital platform initially. I was doing it because I enjoy working with like-minded film-makers, I like them personally a lot and we get along famously. We did Bombay Talkies and then we did Lust Stories and I was doing it for my creativity and satisfaction, no burden of the box office, you can just let go and have fun with it. The fact that it was coming on Netflix, a digital platform, was a double whammy for me because it got me to realise that I’ll be exposed to a new platform and will therefore, be able to gauge the potential of that. I was really taken aback by the fact that there were so many people watching it. That made me realise that this is a reality, that means there are people watching it, therefore, one must engage on this platform a lot more.
Houndstooth sweater by Hilfiger Collection, Tommy Hilfiger
I’ve always believed that there is a Karan Johar who really just wants to do a different kind of cinema, because I asked the same question to you in 2012 and you said that you couldn’t do so because you have the responsibility of a company.
I have enjoyed all the films I’ve made. The only time I’ve made something with a heavy load of responsibility is My Name Is Khan. Otherwise, everything else I’ve made, I’ve loved. And I know that sometimes, in a few years, I will make a proper Lust Stories and I’ll say I’ve got enough people running the company, I’ve got great things happening and now maybe I should do a Woody Allen type of film. I should do a risqué, erotic thriller.
But do you not find that freedom already?
No, not as yet. I still feel obliged to cater to my company and treat myself as a resource. I have a point in my bucket list that in my 50th year, I’ll make my most unusual film with no burden of the box office. I am 46 now.
Which young actors are you really excited about? You have been working with a lot of them lately.
I was very excited about Vicky Kaushal. I loved him when I worked with him on Lust Stories. He shot for only four days with me and actually, on paper, the part was entirely the girl’s, but his role evolved in those four days. I added stuff, I changed things around. My all-time favourite actor will be Ranbir Kapoor because he’s just phenomenal. I’m excited to have worked with him, I’m excited to work with him for Brahmastra. I would say Kiara Advani is a girl that I’ve discovered as an amazing acting resource. I really think that Ishaan Khatter is very talented. I’m really excited to see how Janhvi [Kapoor] and Sara [Ali Khan]’s careers unfold.
Let’s talk about Dhadak now. How did remaking Sairat sound like a good idea to you? You’re making a film which is 10 times the budget of the original, but both the films have made the same money.
You have to understand that Sairat was an anomaly. In Hindi cinema, to take new talent and do this kind of business hasn’t happened. I knew we were going to get lambasted with all kinds of trolling. According to me, Sairat is an outstanding feature film. Dhadak cannot be compared to that in any department. To me, when I wanted to launch new talent, it has to be the right vehicle. Dhadak is like how Ek Duje ke liye was, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak was – this kind of tragic love and the first burst of love, but based in heartland India. Shashank [Khaitan] came to me and he really wanted to do it and he was very convinced. See, I never take these decisions on my own. I always react instinctively to an idea. I was very scared because, like Student Of The Year, I had the responsibility of actors who I was presenting on Indian celluloid for the first time. I had to set them up as actors in the working fraternity. For me, I may have a different opinion which is a creative opinion but my boxes got ticked on what I wanted to achieve for them. And I told Shashank, there’s a lot to learn on what to do and what not to do with Dhadak but I’m glad that you’re getting this opportunity to learn. This could have also gone south. On Friday, to be honest with you, I was really nervous.
My question is not about remaking Sairat, but about choosing this film at all. I don’t necessarily think Sairat is a path breaking film, but what set it aside is its rawness and the brutal portrayal of casteism. But in Dhadak, you removed the caste conversation altogether, so, basically you’re doing a version of Romeo and Juliet, like what a QSQT had done or a Ram Leela. Why would you do a story that has been done to death?
That’s true, it’s been done, but I felt that it hadn’t happened with a new cast in a really long time. The moment you go urban with young kids, you know people don’t tend to take to that film. When you go by what has happened to recent debutants, either very mainstream masala films or hardcore heartland films like Dhadak have struck a chord with the audience. Other attempts did not get the numbers and I wanted the numbers. I knew that Dhadak had the potential to reach mainland India and set these actors up and create opportunities for them to do urban films after this.
Are you telling me Dhadak is a better vehicle for newcomers than a Student Of The Year?
Well, I can’t compare the two.
Student Of The Year, I thought, was a fantastic launch. I thought you were giving us eye candy and also showing off acting talent.
But that was because the budget of that film was ridiculous. You can’t take that chance every time. I could have fallen flat on my face then also. I remember watching it and thinking ‘bacha do bhagwaan’. I was really stressed. You know, when the trailer of Student Of The Year released, it was met with mixed responses and I was like, God, I need a hit song. So, I got a Disco Deewane. The film was a fun watch, even now if you watch it, it’s time pass. But for Janhvi and Ishaan in 2018 India, if they had come with a Student Of The Year, I don’t know how it would have been. I think that with Shashank directing, this was correct. Now that we’ve set these two up, their career begins. I always believe that it’s their second, third and fourth film that defines their careers. Like with Alia, Highway set her up more that SOTY did, very honestly. We put her in the zone, but now they have to find their journey. Would I do a film like Dhadak again? Not for a while.
“Sairat was an anomaly. I knew we were going to get lambasted and trolled. According to me, Sairat is an outstanding feature film. Dhadak cannot be compared to that in any department.”
But why did you remove the caste conversation?
Again, not my call. Shashank didn’t remove it entirely, it’s there but it’s subdued. It’s there in two dialogues, two mentions. Honestly, with all the uproar that happened with Padmaavat, we were shooting around the same time, Shashank took a call to keep it to this and I went with it.
What did you love about Sairat?
Something about Sairat sucked me into their world. Their journey seemed very real and I think Dhadak is nowhere close to the reality of Sairat. We are nowhere as real as Sairat was. But we wanted to make a pan-Indian film and it wouldn’t have gone down well if it was that real. But I loved Sairat and I really hope that we haven’t upset Nagaraj Manjule.
Have you spoken to him?
No. I’m scared. I don’t want him to say something I don’t want to hear. I don’t know how he might have reacted and I don’t blame him. I mean if someone had remade Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, I’d be really upset.
I want to talk about all the nepotism accusations now. If I’m getting the timeline right, you did India’s Next Superstars, where you spoke about choosing actors based on talent and “no sifarish” and right after that you announced Dhadak. Again in SOTY 2, you’ve got Ananya Pandey and Tiger Shroff. In my head, SOTY is a launch vehicle and Tiger doesn’t exactly need it. Why do a SOTY 2?
See, SOTY 2 is a lot sportier and Tiger’s skill sets are very good for the narrative. Then the script needed two girls and we literally screen tested a lot and finally Punit [Malhotra] decided on Tara Sutaria and Ananya [Pandey]. Also, for India’s Next Superstars, that was their peg. You think we wrote those promo lines? They wanted to ride on this whole nepotism wave, of this anti-nepotism stand. And it is getting out of control.
And you’ve become the face of it.
For no reason. I don’t want to talk about my struggles, it’s not like I had the most cushy existence and my father wasn’t this mega film-maker who made a hundred blockbusters and then introduced me. I always say that nepotism exists in Bollywood like it does in many industries. Yes, it gives you access and it gives you the privilege of your first opportunity, but if you fall or fail, you will be out. While there are 5 or 10 examples of nepotistic stars achieving something, there are 300 who are not on the radar anymore. I mean there are enough and more of movie stars who are not from the film industry who are phenomenal movie stars today. This conversation started on my show, so I feel like I’m partially responsible for it. Kangana [Ranaut] came, said what she had to and left, caused the storm and it continues to have this impact. I’m not even holding anything against her. She said what she had to. Honestly, if you ask me, I don’t think Kangana even realised what she was saying would cause this stir. If I feel Varun Dhawan is good for the part, so what if he is David Dhawan’s son? Should I not launch him and find somebody just because I should not adhere to this nepotism phenomenon? I never said I was running a NGO. I’m running a bona fide commercial entity. I’m very excited to introduce new talents. Some will be from the fraternity, some will not. I’m done with being apologetic about it. There have been 15 to 16 directors whose films have been produced by me who are not from film families. No one talks about that. I am producing Good News with a new director called Raj Mehta. Raj Mehta is not from a film family. He was an AD in Dharma who climbed up the rungs and is now directing a full-length feature film with a big cast. Did anyone give me any kind of credit for that? No. Bhanu, another AD, is directing a horror film now. No one will say anything, but if I launch somebody’s grandson or grandnephew, I will be lambasted.
“I always say that nepotism exists in Bollywood like it does in many industries. Yes, it gives you access and it gives you the privilege of your first opportunity, but if you fall or fail, you will be out.”
How has fatherhood changed you?
All the things that Hallmark cards tell you, mushy quotes you’ve read about parenting and fatherhood and motherhood, all those things are actually, I have to admit, true. When they cling on to you, you feel powerful and so amazingly loved. You become that parent who shows other people their children’s photographs even though you know that they don’t really care, because you never cared. Parenting and what we know of it is not a cliché. It’s a reality and my heart bursts every time I rush into the house to see them. Not that I am a hyper parent , but this kind of emotional governance and vigilance is something that my mother does over me and I get irritated, but now I understand where it comes from. I’m paranoid about everything now. Parenting teaches you about parents and it’s sad that someone like me is understanding it far too late.
Let’s talk about something else now. We have known of your insecurities, your struggles with losing weight and being conscious of your appearance, but over the last 6-7 years, Karan Johar’s style statement has changed drastically. Today you are conscious of the way you look, your Instagram is all about clothes. What led to this?
Actually, I lost weight. That’s all. It is that simple. I love fashion. Fashion is something that I have always been obsessed by. I have gone through weight oscillations for the last two decades and I would wear loose jumpers and shorts as I was trying to cover up. I lost weight and I started to wear clothes and now I am playing fashion-fashion. I am enjoying it.
Are you also saying that this has been your aesthetic always?
Always. I just didn’t wear them because I couldn’t wear them. I was the only person in high school who went to the raddiwaala and bought Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and read it and knew about stuff that nobody in my generation had even heard of. I was the first one who talked about aesthetics. I have had discussions with people about clothes and film and people were like they didn’t even notice what others were wearing. I always was very tuned in. Over the years, my films have reflected it and one fine day I just decided that I should now become this person. I am a great one for phases. I won’t be able to last through this. I can vouch for it. I have now become a little crazy, like I am shopping online every day.
That crazy is showing.
Haan, it is na?
So you are enjoying being looked at.
I enjoy the fact that I am wearing these outfits. Also, the funniest thing is that I am going to places and people are asking me to pout. I don’t like myself smiling in the camera, so that’s how the pout was invented. When I used to have weight on my face, I used to not smile and suck my cheekbones in to look thinner. So I was pouting even before it became a thing. I am obsessed with my left profile. I have to tell you this. When we were in Berlin for My Name is Khan, they had to take individual portraits of the director and the lead cast. And so, I walked in. There was a German photographer who was shooting, and he was shooting me in low angle light, and I was like, sir, can you put your light up because low angle light won’t work for me. Then I said, can you move here? Left is my better profile. Then he said, can you smile and I said I won’t smile. So I did 3-4 shots and walked off. Then Shah Rukh came in. He looked at Shah Rukh and was like your lead actor is a real diva. Shah Rukh is like, I am the lead actor and he is the director. And this is with all of these European directors who don’t give a rat’s ass about how they look, and Shah Rukh was like, “Tu pagal hai?” I was like, but see my photograph will look better than yours. I love playing dress up for the airport. I will change on the flight if I have to and I have done that a couple of times. Once there was nobody outside. I did everything. I put on my moisturizer. I wore my glasses and I wore my jacket and there was nobody. And then some random guy, I think he was a pizza delivery fellow, tried to take a photo and I was like, no, I am not giving you this look. I have to repeat this again. I am not wasting my look. So yeah, I have fun with it. Some people dance, some drink, I dress.
Are you in a relationship right now?
When was the last time you were in a relationship?
A legit relationship? 10 years ago. There hasn’t been a relationship of that kind. I am not a relationship person anymore. I don’t want to be in one.
Do you hook up?
Have you used dating apps?
No. Never. I am too nervous. And honestly, I haven’t needed to do it either. Also, sometimes, I don’t want to do it. I have reached a certain stage where I think my work is my orgasm. I get hugely turned on by the work I do. I don’t feel the need to kind of be sexually involved all the time. It doesn’t cross my mind. Sometimes there are days when I am doing nothing and that’s when it crosses my mind. And those are very few days in my life.
Jacket by Heron Preston; T-shirt by R13; eyewear by Gucci
When was the last time you had sex?
Three months ago. I calculated this just yesterday, actually. I remember it.
I remember the kind of uproar that went up after The Unsuitable Boy released, about why you haven’t spelled out your sexual orientation. Do you feel like the LGBT community wants to make you into a champion for them? Do you think they are doing it for them more than you?
I feel I have said everything I had to. I feel it’s out there in a way that I wanted to put myself out there. I think in my own way as an individual and as a liberal in this society, I feel I have done my bit. I can’t say I have done my best, but I can say I have done my bit through my work and my words. I don’t need to spell out anything because it’s my prerogative. And I choose what I say, how I say it, and where I say it. Having said that, I have said enough and I have done enough. If you choose to have a problem with that, then it’s your problem. And if you choose to support me and actually appreciate my endeavours, then that’s also wonderful. But, I think anyone with a brain can read between the lines. If you are expecting black and white statements coming out of me, it’s not going to happen.
“I have gone through weight oscillations for the last two decades and I would wear loose jumpers and shorts to cover up. I lost weight and I started to wear clothes and now I am playing fashion-fashion.”
What is your opinion on what social media has become today?
Do not fuss about it. It is going to exist and only get worse. So, if you have a problem with social media, if you have a problem with why people have so many opinions or why you are being trolled, then this world is not for you. Because the world is now a public place. There is no such thing as private. So you might as well just join the party. And if you are going to have a bad time in this party, then I just feel very sad for you, because there is no other party for you to go to.
One of the biggest criticisms that Bollywood has been facing in the last two years is that the fraternity does not speak up about what is happening in the country, and gets immediately compared to Hollywood stars who are extremely vocal and political.
I believe that we must support everything we believe in, but we are such soft targets. I mean, anything we say, or open our mouths, and suddenly films are being banned. I mean suddenly you will say something strong, you will support something with all your heart and then there will be a political party or there will be some kind of uproar, or there will be people burning multiplexes and then what do you do? And then you are vulnerable, because you have that Friday to prove your point, and if something gets destroyed, you have so many people’s lives and money at stake. What do you want us to do? We don’t have the kind of money that the corporate world does. We just have a lot of name. Famous without the money. We will make it to the front page of the newspapers, but we don’t have the power to stop any madness that suddenly surrounds our release. I think it’s all well when you have nothing to lose, but when you have a lot to lose, shut up.
Do you think people should consider you as a role model?
How can I answer that? I will never consider myself as one, to be honest. I am not being humble about it. I really don’t know. All I wanted to do is be myself and over a period of time I am getting better at it. With every passing decade or year I am trying to become a more real version of myself for me to put out, and I think that eventually all you can derive from me is the fact that I have been more honest than many other people around me. So if being honest makes you a role model, then perhaps I deserve to be one.
Jacket by Heron Preston; T-shirt by R13; sunglasses by Irresistor
And, how do you react to the fact that you are definitely one of the most powerful people in the film industry? If you find the conviction in a person, you can make his/her career, but if Karan Johar turns his face away, there are people whose careers might not flourish as much as they could have.
I mean, look, I can’t even begin to kind of comprehend what to say to this. I believe that the universe has made me the kind of person who is just never deluded about anything. I do my job selflessly and move away when it is over and done with. I never carry the baggage of achievement, ever. I treat success with relief and failure with contemplation. That’s what I do and I move on. When you tell me that I have the power to do all this, I don’t believe I have any power. I will do my best to help you and be there for you, but I will never believe that I have had the power to completely mould your career. Eventually, nothing overrides your talent. I never want to believe that I am famous or that I am popular. I am very awkward with praise. Like when anyone starts praising me, I don’t know what to say. I can’t agree, I can’t disagree. Having said that, I love it. We all do. But I am much better at handling criticism. I feel relieved when somebody says something wrong to me.
Photographer: Rohan Shrestha | Art Director: Amit Naik | Stylist: Neelangana Vasudeva | Hair:Rajeev Gogoi | Makeup: Paresh Kalgutkar | Location Courtesy: Gauri Khan Designs