Spill the Beans: Koffee with Karan

After having enjoyed six-glorious seasons, Koffee with Karan is under talks of being shut. What do you feel about this change?

The internet has been taken over by a storm after multiple revelations and controversies have gripped the demise of Bollywood’s talented actor (on the verge of being a superstar): Sushant Singh Rajput. While many of us are still in shock, swarms of netizens took to their twitter and Instagram handles to target the known “movie mafia” of Bollywood. The big production houses. Sources reveal that there was a collective boycott of the actor, and many of the big releases were taken from him.

Haters gonna hate….?

The one person, who is the target of attacks online is none other than Karan Johar. This is not the first time that he has notoriously been placed in a controversy. Mr. Joharhas have been perceived to proudly accept his position as the nepotism bearer of the industry. If this claim shocks you, we advise you to go through some of his career’s releases and check the star cast. In the industry, a Dharma launch is like a guaranteed skyrocketing career for an actor. A lot of the star kids have got their ‘visas’ to Bollywood, through his grace.

Kangana Ranaut showed Karan a reality check, by going to talking about and brewing the nepotism debate on his very own show!

A Pioneer of Dreaming Big

But in the wake of the actor’s untimely demise, owing to suicide, the internet is furious over a lot of things. Sushant’s death feels personal. It feels like the death of the dreams of the middle-class. His strength and willpower to make it big, coming from Patna, just comes to show how unwelcoming and how stagnant times have been. Dreams get a stamp of surnames and class hierarchies. His demise crushes a nation, where the middle class is the largest recipient of this industry.

Sushant’s death feels personal

The ambitions, the perseverance, and the determination are all caught up and twisted and thrown away in this industry, which has now etched in stone, that ‘surname precedes talent’. Bollywood was never perceived as a ha-ha land filled with unicorns and bursts of sunshine. Yes, it is a competitive industry, but does that mean that the complete pogrom of talent is what fuels this system now?

The Indian version of Gossip Girl

And so, coming back to the topic, the infamous talk show- Koffee with Karan, was a hit in the Indian television. This was a new concept for the masses, but not the first time that someone from the industry takes the reins to conduct interviews of public figures.

Remember Simi Garewal’s Rendezvous with Simi Garewal. The show oozed elegance and resonated maturity, just like the anchor herself. The show’s guest list was varied. From eminent politicians to veteran actors to cricket superstars (like the late Tiger Pataudi) to royalty (late Her Highness Gayatri Devi).

While Koffee with Karan simply became formulaic (and high-school like) in its approach- Karan’s friends or ‘favorites’ sitting together to chat. The only difference was, this chat was being televised for a nation of a billion people. So, anything and everything said on the Koffee couch did hit headlines.

It’s all relative(s)

There was nothing constructive about the show. The only attractive element the show provided us was, the stars being a little close to being authentic, as we get a glimpse into their lives. It was made for entertainment, or that is how we perceived it. But post-Sushant’s demise, all of our eyes have opened. We, as recipients of entertainment, are now responsible for making better choices. We all know how the system works. More viewership means continued running of any particular show. And yes, if we go back to watching the series, a couple of episodes do give us a good laugh, but a lot of them garner a lot of controversies as well!

The ‘rounds’

Those of you, who are versed with how the show runs know that there is an introduction, the first round is just catching up with celebrities, talking about them and their work, tweaking a little here and there to know about their personal life, which then escalates to the infamous “Rapid fire round”.

Which in my opinion, was the ‘fun’ part. The round disclosed nothing, but pure nonsense, and created nothing but a fire of controversy.

Remember the episode starring Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul, which was ultimately taken off of the network and caused a furor over the internet?

The rules were- the more scandalous (interesting) answers you provide, the more chances for you to win the hamper. This became such a rage. Among friends, we used to play our version of the rapid-fire, we all could imagine ourselves in good couture dresses. Even if in reality we were wrapped up in our ripped jeans and a basic tee and sitting at a coffee house at 9 AM, just after a lecture! That was the oblivious, but good times that were inspired by the show.

saucy answers equal hamper

But putting things in perspective, I realize just how Koffee with Karan wasn’t entirely entertainment. It was Gossip Girl, just Indianised. You were “cool” if you knew all the industry gossip, went to all the social events, and were a run of the mill success. Anything contrary to that, you were expected to hibernate. If you remember correctly, there was a section under the rapid-fire, which was to ‘rate’ actors and actresses.

Either on their acting ability or if they’d want to “kill, marry, or hookup” with one of them. In the heat of the moment, some statements must have been made. But none of us till now fathomed that was a mean girl marathon we gathered to watch.

stars to record disclose how they rate and comment on people’s outfits on their ‘WhatsApp groups’

Let us at least look at the number of outsiders, who get to come to Koffee with Karan (who are not associated with Dharma). The answer is none. If you go back to the episodes, Karan’s questionnaire sparks only objectification, petty talks, laughs over being mean, and what’s more, being classist. There is no underlying sophistication in the show. There is incessant toxicity if you want to know it better.

And now, Koffee with Karan stands as the biggest mirror to see Bollywood’s grim reality. The petty-politics that walk the talk in this industry are maybe just an iota of what is the real deal inside, but at least thanks to him we get to scratch the surface just a little bit more.

Should we be Guilty as an Audience

The answer is…YES! A lot of us may have been targeting and trolling the Bollywood giants online, but let us not forget the fact that they are successful because we too as an audience encourage the work they produce. We talk about nepotism in the industry. But we are also the ones who go and watch their movies the very next day. We are all that and more. So we must realize that it takes two to tango. They may be at a much bigger fault than us, but as an audience, the decision lies with us.

That is our domain to decide which movie runs to be successful and which does not. In the past 5 years, we have been incredibly accepting of some amazing movie plots. Which are more middle-class centric and less of ‘let’s wear lehengas and dance in mansions’ mania? We determine if an ‘outsider’ (which is a very degenerate term, by the way) gets to make their mark (if they are given a chance), or if their spot is taken by a privileged debutant. These movies and such shows are made for us. So let us realize that we can exercise a choice and opt for better cinematic experiences.

With that, I bid adieu to this conversation. In the end, I just want to add that what Sushant did with his life, was extraordinary. He inspired many to fly. He was extremely talented and his works can keep reminding us of that. I just hope he went to a better place. And I hope that people are supportive of his family.

We are middle-class. We need to realize our potential in this nation when it comes to key decisions. There was a very interesting point made in a MensXP video, where they said that nepotism is something that will always exist. But the movie industry and politics, these are two areas..where our decision matters. So let us be aware of that and make sensible choices.

 

Avnika Chhikara

Avnika is a humanist, and believes that life should ensure us to enjoy all the sunsets and iced-teas possible. On days when she doesn't write, she breaks free into a catastrophic dance to match up with her chutzpah, and on days otherwise she strategizes with the Malfoys'.

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