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Book Review: An Unsuitable Boy by Karan Johar

Karan JoharKaran Johar’s ‘An Unsuitable Boy’ is a candid, free-flowing account by the blockbuster Bollywood director which gives us an insight into the hitherto unchartered territories of his private life. From his school life to his experiences with sex, from friendships to films, Karan finally ‘comes out of the closet’ (pun intended).

Whether you like him or not, you surely cannot ignore Karan Johar, specially now that he is everywhere – from films to judging reality shows, hosting chat shows or award shows, Karan Johar is an essential part of it all. The book is an excellent insight into the man who defines Bollywood.

What works for ‘An Unsuitable Boy’ is the freewheeling style it is penned in. The language is simple, emotions are real. Karan Johar opens up about being bullied in school for being effeminate; about paying for sex; his bouts of depression, his trysts with love and also about the relationships in his life – with his father, his mother, Shah Rukh, Kajol among others.

He does not hide his sexuality but the nuanced way he presents it will surely win your heart. In fact, some of his experiences are so relatable, it almost feels like the book is actually a conversation you are having over a cup of coffee. The honesty behind the words strike a chord.

The chapters where he describes his initiation into the film industry, and those about his experience of making films were interesting enough. The anecdotes would surely make you want to revisit the films and take a fresh look at them.

Karan Johar has long been targeted for ‘hiding’ in the closet, thus letting down the LGBT community in India (more so post December 2013). ‘An Unsuitable Boy’ is a step in the right direction. Hopefully his book, like his movies, will once again make alternate sexuality a dinner-table conversation in middle class India.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

30 Days Blogging Challenge: Day 27 – What is in my closet

30 Days Blogging Challenge

Asking a gay man what is in there in his closet, is opening a floodgate of emotions. The closet symbolises everything that is evil, everything wrong in the society. From birth, till adulthood, a gay man is forced to conform to societal norms for gender stereotyping. Any voice of dissent is quickly silenced. In India, where the word sex itself is a taboo, a healthy discussion of sexuality is too much to ask for. Hence, the closet becomes the best friend of the gay man.

I have come out of the closet 7 years ago. It was a liberating experience. I also encourage many of my fellow community members to follow suit. Be confident of your sexuality. Be proud of your identity. There is nothing to be afraid of. There is nothing to be guilty or ashamed of.

The closet is meant only for clothes and secrets. Human beings deserve a free and liberal world.

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