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My real coffee addiction- Koffee with Karan

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi South chapter.

“Who is the President of India?”

“Prithviraj Chauhan!”

If the interaction above gave you some major 2013-2014 flashback and if you too find yourself using ‘conjecture‘ as a part of your everyday vocabulary, then you too, my friend, are a certified Koffee addict. And I’m not talking about your regular “tall, no fat, soy latte with two pumps of vanilla” coffee order, but rather Karan Johar’s special Koffee with a K, that has kept us entertained, amused and at times, even enraged for the past eighteen years- Koffee with Karan.

When Koffee with Karan first aired on Star World way back in 2004, people had their doubts over an English language Bollywood chat show being introduced to the Indian crowd. However, Karan Johar’s witty quips and trademark ‘nosy parker’ style of hosting, the endless B-Town gossip and the countless controversies that took place on the ‘Koffee Couch‘ culminated into Koffee with Karan becoming a fan favorite- so much so that it’s even crossed borders and is being brodcasted to the US audience on Hulu.

If you’re a bollywood fanatic like me, then Koffee with Karan was undoubtedly a part of your childhood as well, and even today, I religiously wait for each new episode to be aired every thursday, exactly at 7 p.m. on the dot on Hotstar. Do I think I’m ever going to be invited to one of KJo’s infamous ‘house parties’ and witness Aditya Roy Kapoor ‘canoodling’ with one of the gorgeous B-Town ladies? God, I wish! But am I going to take in every bit of gossip that is spilled on KwK as to who’s dating who in Bollywood with rapt attention and come up with my own conjectures? Oh, absolutely! The beauty of a show like KwK is that even though we, the audience, don’t even know so much as the tip of an iceberg, we feel totally invested and included in the lives of our favorite celebrities. Not just that, it gives great pleasure and enjoyment, at least to me personally, to be able to take a break from my everyday mundane life and regular people problems and be a witness to the glamourous gossip and controversies that a show like Koffee with Karan brings with it.

Be it the Bebo-PC catfight in season 3 (“Where did PC get that accent from?” “I get my accent from the same place her boyfriend (Saif Ali Khan) does.“) or Kangana Ranaut accusing KJo to be the “Flag bearer of nepotism” or perhaps the most scandalous episode of all time, episode 12 of season 6 featuring KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya that led to the show almost being permanently canceled, the players being dropped by BCCI for a couple of matches and ultimately the episode being taken off air, Koffee with Karan has never failed to make the headlines. However, along with the unlimited adulation and love, the show has also been the subject of some harsh criticism and rightly so. Ranveer Singh’s derogatory remark to Anushka Sharma on national television that if she wanted “her ass pinched”, he was “right here” in season 3 did not go down well with the audience and was highly criticized. ‘Nepotism’, or as Karan Johar has now dubbed it as ‘the unspeakable N-word’ has been constant point of contention and much deliberation on the show, what with the gracious host launching several star kids such as Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Ananya Pandey into the industry, and for this, KJo had to pay his dues and was, in fact continues to be trolled time and again on the internet. Coming to one of the most chaotic episodes in the history of the show that left the nation seething with anger yet dumbfounded at the same time, the KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya episode was truly the stuff of PR nightmares. Hardik Pandya’s notoriously misogynistic and downright sexist comment about women sparked some serious backlash and condemnation and resulted in the show being subjected to extreme scrutiny. However, all was not bleak as Pandya’s famous line, “Mai aaj karke aaya” went on to become a great meme material and gives the netizens immense glee to draw reference even today.

The Koffee Couch gave us some real awe-worthy moments and several moments that left us in splits and gasping for breath over the years as well. SRK’s witty one liner, “You know Karan chances of me waking up in the morning turning into you is less, but waking up in the morning with you is more…. that’s what everyone says.” and the Ranbir- Ranveer episode (“Karan Johar ne mere saath cheating ki hai!) are some moments that are guaranteed to fill any gloomy day with a hint of sunshine. The various couple appearances, right from Rishi Kapoor- Neetu Kapoor, Mira Rajput- Shahid Kapoor, Kajol-Ajay Devgn to Kareena and Saif, are full of some real cozy moments as well as some jest and laughter. In fact some of our favorite couplings like Ranbir- Alia and Vicky-Katrina got “manifested on the Koffee couch” itself, as KJo likes to say and we could not be more in love with these moments. (Like anyone can forget Vicky Kaushal falling over on hearing that Kat thought they might look good together!)

But, despite all the celebrity appearances and controversies and drama that surrounds the show, the real USP of the show that keeps its audience hooked and coming back time and again for more has to be ‘The Rapid Fire‘ round and the coveted ‘Koffee Hamper‘. The elusive hamper, (which the audience doesn’t know the content of even to this day!) continues to be the object of all the guests’ focus with junior Bachchan even going on his knees and proclaiming he was ready to “do anything” for the Koffee Hamper in on episode and giving us an iconic moment. With this new season including a ‘Koffee Gang‘ to evaluate The Rapid Fire Round and a game round to give the celebrities a chance ‘for redemption’, the show has successfully managed to win the hearts of its audience and make them feel more connected than ever before.

All said and done, Koffee with Karan continues to be a fan favorite and while Karan Johar still toes the line of privacy with the celebrities making an appearance, its refreshing to see the actors in a different light as regular people and hear them share their experiences and lay out their cards (or so we think!). One change however that made itself known in the latest season is that with last season’s scandal gaining epic proportions, Karan Johar has resorted to being a more nuanced version of himself while still being frank, frivolous and lascivious. His open acceptance of the bashing and trolling he gets online and converting it into a weapon in his arsenal by making a jest of it is something that I’ve truly grown to admire and take away from the show. Some shows are meant to be educational, this is definitely not, however if you’re feeling down on your luck or tired from your everyday life, do your self a favor, grab your favorite snack and just turn on Koffee with Karan.

Devanshi Mitra

Delhi South '24

Devanshi is a physics major and you are most likely to find her either doing something borderline illegal or cocooned in a blanket with her nose buried in a book and Taylor Swift blaring in her ears - there's no in between. An exuberant optimist and a firm believer of 'no judgement', when things go south, she'll be there to make it feel like home.