He may not have had the best year-end news with “Kurbaan” failing at the box-office, but Karan Johar is frank enough to admit that “Paa” has been the delight of the year for him. “I think Amitabh Bachchan took acting to another level in ‘Paa’. That and the emergence of Ranbir Kapoor have been the highlights of this year,” he says.
Hopefully, he’ll have a lot to speak about himself in the new year. There’s loads of excitement in store for him as not just his Kajol-Shah Rukh Khan starrer “My Name Is Khan” will release in February, but it will also mark his return to television with ‘Lift Kara De’, a non-fiction show. It is from the big daddy of Hindi cinema, Yash Raj Films (YRF), that makes its way into television. Slotted for 20 weeks, the show will feature 20 super stars from Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, and Kajol to Kareena and Deepika alongside their biggest fans. The show, to be aired on Sony Entertainment Television, is one of the five being produced by Yash Raj Films Television (YRF TV), a subdivision of YRF that will provide content.
Given the bond he shares with the Chopras, Karan is naturally upbeat, and no amount of probing about the reported rift between the families evokes any reaction. “We had never gone our separate ways, so this is no reconciliation. Yash Raj Films has been a big part of my life. It has been my family, my home and my training ground. I have been a student of the Yash Raj school of cinema. With ‘Lift Kara De’, we can promise dollops of entertainment. And, there will be loads of emotion; the show is all heart and soul. I can’t tell you to what lengths fans can go to please their star!” he says.
The show began with a nationwide hunt for the biggest fan of a particular star. Each of these fans had to reportedly go through various tasks to prove themselves worthy of meeting the star. While very little is being revealed, the emphasis on the social angle of the show appears to be heavy, thanks to the tagline ‘Lives Will Change’. “It’s heart-warming to see what they can do and actually do. I don’t think any of us sitting here can do it. I feel quite thankful that I didn’t have to do any such thing to meet my favourites –Amitabh Bachchan, who saw me growing up, and Shah Rukh, who became a close friend, a little after he came into the industry,” says Karan.
Who else can be expected to open the show but Karan’s friend — superstar Shah Rukh? “I am quite happy that he was there for both my ‘Koffee With Karan’ seasons, and now for this. He is special to me.”
However, he’s miffed that no fans of directors were invited. “Directors too have a huge fan following, or so I’d like to believe. Sadly, there has been no forum to test our popularity yet,” he says in mock dejection.