25 Years of Karan Johar and His Journey with Study Abroad

6 minute read
25 Years of Karan Johar and His Journey with Study Abroad

Karan Johar has recently completed 25 years of his journey in Bollywood. In all these years he has been an inspiration not only for the Indian youth but also for budding filmmakers who want to make films that can portray a new world through their content. One of these worlds is that of abroad education which most of Karan Johar’s films have set as a benchmark for the youth in early 2000 onwards.

Dharma: A Twist of Films and Foreign

25 Years of Karan Johar and His Journey with Study Abroad

Source: The Economic Times

Most of his films are centred around the youth and education in a dynamic environment and romantic scenarios. His portrayal of studying abroad is a little over-celebrated with partying and nightlife but we cannot ignore the fact that his films have somewhat familiarized Indians with the idea of studying abroad. In fact, we can attribute him to making the study abroad experience an aspiration for a lot of young Indian students. 

By depicting education abroad, in various ways, Karan Johar has gifted Bollywood with a series of films where characters from different cultures and values are establishing their different career paths and emotional arcs that lead to their personality enhancement. The development of characters in his films is strongly influenced by their education which is also true in cases of better education, opportunities, faster growth, brilliant exposure and gaining confidence in the real world. 

In some other cases, however, it is open to debate. So on this occasion, let’s have a look at some amazing Bollywood blockbusters from Karan Johar that have influenced the idea of studying abroad. We will also judiciously explore how each film has portrayed the idea of studying abroad.   

Also Read: Study Abroad with a Twist

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

25 Years of Karan Johar and His Journey with Study Abroad; Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

The story has a very strong character called ‘Tina’ who is the dean’s daughter and has recently returned after completing her studies in London. Tina is a girl with glamour and sanskaar a combination of qualities much preferred by the Indian youth even now. She has this iconic entry that makes her stand out from the crowd. 

Yes, the reason was short dresses and Westernised lifestyle but also the confidence and understanding of the world. No matter how hard we all wanted Rahul and Anjali to be forever but watching Tina die was definitely a heartbreaker. 

Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

25 Years of Karan Johar and His Journey with Study Abroad; Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

We agree the name of the film should have been Kabhi Kabhi Khushi and Mostly Gham but no wonder the performances of our favourite actors on screen gave us a lot of happiness. Now this film has made studying abroad a ‘Parampara’ or ‘Ritual’ in its storyline. The idea of the Raichands having this tradition was that the family’s children must become self-reliant, learn to face the world and run the family business to the best of their capabilities with world-class training from premier education.

“Main London mein padhna chahta hun, Dadaji gaye they, aap gaye they, Bhaiya gaye they, toh main yeh parampara kaise tod sakta hun”

-Says an excited Rohan to his lonesome father, when asked why he wants to leave the family behind alone.

Laddoo became so self-reliant though that he didn’t make his brother even recognise him while living with him for a long while, LOL. Nice act within an act! Coming back to the story Karan Johar’s K3G has also shown the Westernised and back to cultural roots contrast with the interaction of Laddoo and Pooja with the family. And not to forget that iconic National Anthem. Karan has really got style!

Also Read: 5 Relatable Bollywood Dialogues for Your Study Abroad Journey

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

25 Years of Karan Johar and His Journey with Study Abroad; Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

A simple human living and studying in London to escape a toxic household; another heartbreaking storyline from Karan Johar’s films is that of Ayan Sanger. Learning about his abusive household background and the stress of dealing with the struggles to establish a self-identity, my mind started playing Channa Mereya at that very moment.   

Ayan Sanger however also represents people who are homesick, get attached, and have ambitious dreams to achieve their creative goals. Do you think he would not have gone through heartbreak if he had contacted Leverage Edu for proper career counselling and not strayed along with his dreams for long? 

Well, jokes apart, for those who are soft-hearted the film has shown that if Ayan can you can! Live abroad, learn and explore and chase your dreams. But better go for career counselling for the process rather than heartbreak.  

Kal Ho Na Ho 

25 Years of Karan Johar and His Journey with Study Abroad; Kal Ho Na Ho

The idea of including Kal Ho Na Ho in this list is to give a stage to those stories of Indians who have spent their entire lives away from India. This film has not shown the protagonists studying as such but it is obvious that they have completed their education abroad. The most famous loved characters in this film are Naina, the sweet simple, overburdened girl, Rahul, a lovable boy on the edge of his lifeline and Rohan, the mad-in-love chocolate boy. 

This film has spoken out for Indian families living abroad and the issues they face in identifying themselves with any of the cultures. It has also shown the ways they overcome it and the inclusivity they get from their neighbours and friends. Though this representation is a bit exaggerated, BUT, it is Bollywood, let’s bear this much. 

Student of The Year

25 Years of Karan Johar and His Journey with Study Abroad; Student of the Year

Tata Bachche (rich kids) and Bata Bachche (hardworking, scholarship-type kids): all had one goal in this film- to win the prestigious Student Of The Year trophy at their ultra-premier school, St. Teresa’s which opens their door and makes their journey to world best colleges abroad, inclusive of Ivy League, a piece of cake. The competition ultimately boils down to Rohan Nanda, representing Tata Bachche and Abhimanyu Singh, along with a hoard of other students depicting a perfect mix of rich kids and hardworking ones.

The end result: they all learn to work together which helps them in their life journeys as well as their journey to their dream college abroad. Rohan ends up studying at a world-class music institute to become a famous musician and Abhimanyu ends up killing it in the business world after acing his education abroad. Student of the Year 2 follows a similar pattern with different characters and storylines: but the end goal is to win the Student Of The Year competition to end up at the best colleges in the world!

Hasee to Phasee

25 Years of Karan Johar and His Journey with Study Abroad; Hasee to Phasee

Hasee to Phasee has this amazing and weird protagonist Meeta who ran away from home to pursue a PhD in China. This film has embossed the Indian ideology on higher education, thinking process and career-oriented women in the modern world. Karan Johar has managed to subtly include the idea of personal greed making the characters more humane but by the climax, it again becomes all running to the airport and escaping an unwanted marriage at the peak of drama. 

By making Meeta run away to China to complete her PhD the film also answers the benefits of research-based courses and opportunities abroad. And let’s be honest, not everyone gets goons on their back like Meeta, it only gives a message to not take Bollywood movies too seriously! It is very safe to travel and study abroad. 

These films and many others in the Indian cinema industry made by Karan Johar and other directors and producers have created a beautiful dream of studying abroad within young people’s minds and also busted the myths around studying abroad with characters like Ayan, Meeta, Tina, Laddoo and many more. 

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