Dear Karan Johar/Bollywood, we used to love you. You were our decider in chief as far as the deadly serious business of conducting weddings was concerned.
You gave us lessons on screen and a billion dollar wedding industry grew which indisputably took its cues from you. Hell, the pre-eminent lehngas designer Sabyasachi (Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt) ought to pay you royalties for every “look” sold.
The things you popularised — destination weddings, foreign roads trips to discover oneself because one is “private jet Ameer” (jet-setting rich) and the quite sexist take on women — had to be quiet and beautiful and the adherence to traditional family norms set the template for India for a very long time.
Now you are selling us the fabulous lives of the Bollywood wives — a show so cringingly clueless that at first viewing I though it was a satire. But, then I realised that you are a kind person. You are ensuring employment for all your entourage, even the dim ones.
We followed the fashions, danced to end and unselfconsciously sang the songs which certainly were inclusive — running the gamut from beautiful love songs to genuinely spiritual bhajans.
But, we’ve had enough now, Karan. Here you are chatting with superstars about their bedroom lives, never anything of substance or that matters to Bollywood, judging dance shows, producing films like the recent disaster Liger. Why you even presided over the Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor nuptials.
And, now I am having a tiny anxiety attack that you will produce a film to launch their kid (in future) alongside Taimur and Jeh, the offspring of Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, the way you launched Jhanvi Kapoor, the daughter of Sridevi and Boney Kapoor. They are all cookie-cutter Karan.
After all you cast Maheep Kapoor, I still don’t quite know what she does except that she is a fabulous Bollywood wife and now are launching her daughter Shayana, just like the way you launched Ananya Pandey, who is the daughter of another fabulous Bollywood wife Bhavana Pandey and actor Chunky Pandey.
But, Karan, perhaps because of all that you do keeping up with the millennials is exhausting. You are now spreading yourself and the film industry very thin.
We consume the same actors coming from about five Bollywood families (nepotism) but, let’s not say that all on your speed dial and scripts based on all your life experiences which are limited to South Bombay.
I know, I know you prefer to call it SOBO, just like Manhattan in New York and Chelsea in London. It’s exhausting but, I know that you all now go to Maldives in your tireless effort sponsored by various tourism boards to teach us how to spend our money.
Let’s pretend that you and your band going for free laden down with free designer gear is our little secret. After all it’s not easy to create a market and aspirations for a full set of Louis Vuitton luggage and the latest Balenciaga shoes. It gets so exhausting on Instagram to clock all the new looks.
So Karan I bought the shoes in lilac and now I have a request: Can you please retire from making movies? We all like my movies populated with outstanding actors.
I don’t actually care if they have the stardust DNA. I want imaginative stories, which are universal such as the Mahabharata that I can invest in the story and learn something. The only thing I learnt from Liger was toxic masculinity and that Ananya Pandey acts worse than papa Chunky Pandey.
While I enjoy gossip and small talk, all your OTT content can’t be based on that as I have stopped caring about those you call on your show.
We used to enjoy the three superstar Khans, enjoy the energy of Ranveer Singh, but, I really can’t stand gossip about Vicky Kaushal and Ishaan Kapoor (heads up: I know he is Shahid Kapoor’s brother) as your guests grow smaller from the small Bollywood gene pool which even diminishes the small screen platform your show appears on. It’s now koffee with Bollywood Khandaan, where you celebrate an Aapna Utsav (our festival).
I don’t mean to be rude, Karan, I am a fan but, could the Aapna Utsav be the reason Bollywood films are serially being rejected at the box office.
The three Khans are ageing out — all in their late fifties. Akshay Kumar is pretending to be in his 30s in his new film and romancing a girl young enough to be his daughter. Ditto for Ajay Devgn. Not remotely heroic of them.
Yes, calls for boycott do some damage but, India used to adore Bollywood and nothing could come in the way of going to the movies. Perhaps, Bollywood needs a new script and to turn this nepotism-addled page.
Perhaps it’s time to pack up and retire, Karan.
PS: I hope Brahmastra is a hit. I will be watching it for sure.