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“I am jealous of younger people”- Karan Johar

Written by: By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Published: Monday, May 25, 2009, 15:09 [IST]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Anyone attending Karan Johar's 37th birthday party tonight at a city hotel, will have to come bearing gifts KJo will be giving them points according to the gifts (but no roles in his next films)! Shahrukh Khan is expected to break out of his self-imposed isolation and attend the bash. Other invitees include Arjun Rampal, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee, Saif Ali Khan and Farah Khan.

We caught up with KJo and he revealed all in his inimitably witty style:

What are you gifting yourself?
I have decided to gift myself a birthday party this year to celebrate and get out of this depression of turning 37. It's something small and more like an intimate gathering of close friends. I feel old today I am just three years away from the dreaded age of 40! I have a kind of age complex. I never want to stop wearing the kind of clothes that I love and start going subtle. Though I am basically an optimistic person, I am jealous of younger people.

Have you demanded special gifts from your friends?
I am hoping and praying to get lots of presents this year. I want lots of gifts! In fact, I am going to hold a competition tonight of receiving the best gifts and everyone will be awarded points. I love the arts; so any painting, sculptures, etc will do.

Are you serious?
I am just kidding! But I am telling you unlike people who say I am throwing a party without revealing their birthday plans, I am telling everyone openly it's my birthday today so please come with a present. I love receiving presents! One reaches a point where materialistic stuff cease to matter. I would rather possess special moments or memories wrapped up in emotions. I have a few iconic moments which I will treasure all my life.

What's the one gift from your mom (Hiroo Johar ) you would want?
Mom and I don't exchange gifts on birthdays. We keep gifting each other stuff all the time. My biggest gift to myself is my mom. I am happy having her in my life. Last night, I brought in my birthday with my mom watching the IPL finals. My mom is a huge cricket fan and today, I have become one too because of her passionate watching. She hasn't missed a single match this year. She's very sporty and very unlike me.

You are known to be a party animal...
Contrary to belief, I am not a party animal. We meet up at friends' homes. Today I am way beyond pub-hopping and night clubbing. If I went out, I wouldn't know what to do! When I could have done it I didn't as I was busy trying to structure my life. I started assisting my dad (Yash Johar). At 25, I directed my first film and at 27, my second.

Do you regret missing out on partying when you were younger?
No, but if I had a way of turning back the clock I would want revisit my mindset. I wish I were far more evolved, open-minded and adventurous in my 20s as I am today. I didn't do many things I wanted to but couldn't. Even today, I am a responsible professional and can't do many things as much as I want to. So from this year onwards, I have decided to be more spontaneous.

But haven't you tried to shake off your boring self sometimes?
I do travel a lot. That's a different side to me you would never know. I am freer when I am abroad. I am happy doing little things like walking in a park or meeting all kinds of people from all walks of life. In Mumbai, we all get stuck in a network or social circle that gets difficult to break through from. When I am abroad, I feel alive again. It's like experiencing a whole new world out there.

What's the best compliment you got recently?
At Cannes, when someone told me that I don't look like a filmmaker. Apparently, they look more intense, serious and involved in their work. Also, I guess I was overdressed while walking the red carpet.

What's the one thing on your wish list today?
To just make that one great film that would remain in people's memories for years to come something timeless.

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