Like every other 80’s and 90’s kid, I grew up liking Karan Johar’s movies.I wanted to read his book very well aware of the fact that its going to be easy peasy. And his session at the Hindu LitFest intrigued me to pick this book. Then a dear friend of mine sent this book as a gift last month. So here we go,with the review.
Author – Karan Johar
Publisher – Penguin Books India
Pages – 352
Format read – Paperback
Kindleandkompass rating – 4/5
A single child, living in the upscale locale of south Mumbai,driven by the passion for Hindi movies becomes the most loved film director in Bollywood. Karan Johar narrates his journey from his nascent days to his life at 44, packed with a lot of personal details and emotions.
He uses a line once said by a veteran actor “It is your trumpet. If you do not blow it , then who will ?” An unsuitable boy is definitely an ode to his own life.
The books takes off with the life of an introverted child, who is slightly over weight , lonely and called pansy. He finds solace in food and movies. He writes about his school days where he gets into public speaking and then his venture into movies. His directorial debut is overly detailed that you get a feel like you belong to that period and to that whole film-making process. While the first part details a lot about his childhood and teenage , the second half is filled with his emotional journey as he goes through the loneliness of being a single child, lack of a relationship, mid-life angst, unrequited love and his friendship with the King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan.
He writes about his directorial experiences,relationship with the film fraternity, building up his dad’s business,his marketing and administration skills at his production house, instincts that brings him success and also about the few times instincts failed him. He is honest when he speaks about being a shopaholic – hoarding shoes and jackets; and the most rumored topic of discussion about his sexuality. He speaks it clean out there about not giving a damn about anyone and anything else, which I totally love.
Like any KJo movie, this book is an easy-breezy read.He writes eloquently and gets chatty, very much like his TV show. Words flow easily and takes you through the roller coaster he has been through. Then there is that energy flow in his words and you can finish it in a go. The only sinking moment is when he repeats a few instances and conversations in multiple places. He finishes the book talking about his mid life angst and his treatment with a psychiatrist. It definitely needs courage and a certain level of honesty to be able to talk about ones deepest traumas, and he has nailed it.
Overall, “An Unsuitable Boy” is a typical Karan Johar movie; don’t think hard, don’t have to use your brain, but entertainment assured.