Karan Johar with his College Bestie
Friendship Day. Not sure we need a day to celebrate friends (or any other day celebrating our mother, father, dog or cat). But these days we aren’t friends if we haven’t advertised it on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. For old school (read old) people like me, we celebrate each other by spending time together.
Karan and I met over 25 years ago, awkward 18-year-olds at a French class, (our friendship is older than most millennials). We hit it off from day one. For the next 4 years, we were inseparable – at class, home or partying. Unlike my French, his is great even now. Although it’s more his accent than grammar or vocabulary (and he says Christian Louboutin loves him for it).
We would attend class during the day, then spend the evening at his house and party thrice a week. Our reputation preceded us and we came to be (in)famously known as Disco King and Disco Queen (DK and DQ), hitting every disco from SoBo to Bandra. We weren’t big drinkers, didn’t do drugs or smoke. We just danced and socialized. There were nights we hung outside nightclubs and told people it was too crowded so we had stepped out for some fresh air; when in reality we hadn’t even stepped in. We just wanted to see and be seen!
Karan loved Bollywood even then (though like any self-respecting SoBo boy, he was ashamed to admit it). I spent evenings watching him gyrate to ‘Mere Haathon Mein Nau Nau Chudiyan’, and despite being a little overweight he could give any heroine today a run for her money. His only training was watching films. In fact, he’s responsible for my introduction to Hindi movies, which started with ‘Lamhe’. It was a proud day for him and a big shift for me.
Over the years we’ve changed, but not much. Karan transformed from a chubby boy to a suave, dapper and hugely successful filmmaker. We were both fashionistas (me less than him), always wanting to look our best. And though my wardrobe still has a mix of street fashion and big brands, Karan has moved from Benetton (it was ‘the’ place to shop) to Valentino and Gucci. From chubby cheeks to an Instagram pout (no one has mastered it like him). From dancing in his Malabar Hill apartment, to dance shows across the world. From being a fan boy to having fan boys and girls.
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