I think of Rajkumar Hirani as some spiritual being who has lived in the Himalayas for 30 years and come back to spread light and calmness. He’s a “bhala maanas” untouched by the worldly complexes and trappings of our filmmaking fraternity. I am gloriously envious of him. How is he able to detach himself from the industry? He’s not socially active, doesn’t give thousands of interviews, is not all over Twitter and Facebook and television. He stays away from the spotlight, works quietly, comes with a film every three years and hits the right spots without trying too hard.
I envy how his films resonate and touch the core, have a lot to say, yet are not a “pathshala”. There’s much to learn in them but it is all done with immense flair. His films are never devoid of entertainment. He is traditional in the way he uses the camera, people say he isn’t cinematic enough but that’s because for him, story-telling is above all. He is our Frank Capra, rooted in the Indian soil in the best possible way.
The smile in his eyes shows that his brain is without any clutter. Our heads are in a constant chaos, we need internal swachhta but he is clutter-free. Stupid people are perennially arrogant, intelligent ones like me fake humility but it eventually shows on our faces. Raju is genuinely down to earth, frugal and sorted. He is still innocent and untouched as a filmmaker while we all have lost it. We both do feelgood films. But my cinema is aspirational, his is connected. He hits the right notes whereas my cinema makes you aspire to hit the right notes. He is all about reality, I am all about the dream, the unreal.
Karan Johar is a Bollywood prodeucer/director