He is India’s most celebrated talk show host and a supremely successful director-producer. Karan Johar, the man whose cup of coffee gets everyone’s attention, has dealt with a stunning Hichki to come this far in life. In a startling revelation, Karan disclosed that he felt like a ‘lesser’ person as a child because he had a feminine sounding voice.
He reveals, “When I was a child, there were many Hichki moments. The one that I wouldn’t have changed today, is that I had a very girlish child when I was a child. I had a very squeaky voice and I used to get teased a lot.”
He adds, “Sometimes in my building, or at school by seniors, or when I went to inter school competitions, I would get teased that I am a pansy and that, I sound like a girl. So when I began college, I went into public speaking. A gentleman, who used to conduct public speaking classes, Mr Nazareth, told me that you are very conscious of your voice. When I told him that I used to feel awkward about my voice, he said that firstly I should never be ashamed of who I am. And then to improve my voice (it’s texture), he worked out a course. So for three years, I would go to him and his wife, thrice a week and they gave me speech training. It helped me speak and project and train my voice to find baritone. But I just feel like today, I would not change how I sounded. I wouldn’t do what I did and I wouldn’t make my children do the same.”
The makers of Rani Mukerji’s Hichki are promoting the film uniquely by asking prominent personalities to share their untold weaknesses and how they eventually converted them into massive strengths. Karan explains that with changing times, hiccups imposed by societal and public perception don’t matter as much today, and that, he would have lived with his hiccup more comfortably.
He says, “At those times, societal pressures were such that it (my voice) was a big hichki. I felt lesser and I was made to feel abnormal. And I felt like I needed to overcome this to be the person that I wanted to be. But today, times are different and we are all more evolved. I hope that if this kind of a hiccup comes in people’s lives that they shouldn’t change their core persona. But I did.”
Directed by Siddharth P Malhotra and produced by Maneesh Sharma, Hichki is set to touch the hearts of audiences when it releases on March 23.