Karan Johar‘s biography An Unsuitable Boy is a candid account of his journey in the film industry, the ups and downs in his personal life and other aspects of his life which celebs usually keep under the wraps. From discussing his bitter equation with once BFF Kajol, to expressing his wish to experience fatherhood, KJo bared it all.
One of the topics touched upon by him was how he was threatened by the underworld just before the release of his directorial debut, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998. Karan wrote that after his father, Yash Johar saw the film, he decided to host a premiere for it.
On Monday, we were writing out the cards, dispatching them through production. My maasi had come to the house to help us. I went down to drop her. My mother was alone at home, even the servants were not there, all of them had gone out. The phone rang. My mother picked it up, and it was a call from the underworld. A man’s voice said, “Your son’s wearing a red T-shirt, I can see him right now. And we’re going to shoot him if you release this film on Friday”.
For some reason, they didn’t want the film to be released that Friday; we didn’t know why. It was a call from Abu Salem, and my mother was shaking with terror. She put the phone down and ran towards the door. She pressed the lift number, and I was coming up. As I came up those nine floors, she was going through really tough moments. When I reached, she just dragged me to the room and said, “You have to call the cops. This call has come and they said they’re going to shoot you, they don’t want you to release your film this Friday.”
After the incident, the cops told Karan to go ahead with the premiere on Thursday and that they will protect him. During the premiere, Karan was put in a small room with two security guards for his protection. He wrote about how he had always dreamt about Shammi Kapoor coming out of a car to attend the premiere of his film. His mother, who knew about that wish, was very upset that he won’t be able to witness that and told Shah Rukh about.
Shah Rukh said, “What nonsense!” He went inside and dragged me out. He said, “I’m standing here in front of you. Let’s see who shoots you. I’m standing right here”. I said, “No, no, no, my mother was…” He told my mother, “Nothing’s gonna happen. I’m a Pathan. Nothing can happen to me and nothing will happen to your son. He’s like my brother. Nothing’s gonna happen.”
And indeed, nothing happened to the industry stalwarts. Karan was able to see his dream come true due to the brave front put up by SRK. However, he was unable to see the overwhelming response he received in the form of a standing ovation from his audience at the end of the screening. That night, he flew to London along with his parents as the cops told him that would be safer, thereby missing the initial euphoria surrounding KKKH.