Behind Karan Johar's oft-smiling face is a history of heartbreak and hurt.
In an op-ed for NDTV, the Bollywood producer/director writes an open letter to his trolls, that is, people on social media who direct completely unwarranted negative comments at him.
'While most people have alarm clocks, I get to wake up every morning to "gay ma*****od, good morning",' he begins.
KJo wrote about how he was one of the first from Bollywood to have joined Twitter, and eventually his fans' adulation was diluted by comments of a spiteful kind.
"But then started the phase where I began to wake up to "gay ma*****od, good morning". Every morning. Or just "hi gay". I am routinely called "chakka". Every so often, I'm told I'm a transsexual/transvestite/sister-shagging homosexual, which is actually, if you think about it, a contradiction in terms."
He goes on to suggest that the hate stems from his not confirming to modern-day ideals of masculinity:
"I understand I'm not the most masculine human being, I'm not the most macho stud walking the block, and I also understand (even if I think it's ridiculous) that if you're seen as a little effeminate, you're made fun of. And I know I can be sometimes, especially when I dance."
His response to the hate? It's been a rollercoaster ride that's ended with a revelation:
"I went through the stages, the three emotions: anger to indifference to high levels of amusement. At this stage, frankly, I'm almost excited to be trolled, or I would be were it just about the trollers and their sad little minds... What gets my goat is the misogyny therein, the sexism that's so rampant. The ability to hurt and wound. Take Anushka Sharma, what did she have to do with a lost match? There's a particular brand of pervert just looking to hate, and they're often drowning us out in the din."
And so, he addresses the trolls:
"You're probably as unattractive as you seem to think me. You probably hate my selfies, because you don't love what you see in your's. You obviously have no job! And your solution to life's frustrations is to take it out on me (and a few unlucky others). And now that we have the pleasantries out of the way, I want to tell you that you don't actually disturb me any more. What would disturb me was if I allowed you the smallest amount of influence over my life. "
With that off his chest, he closes on this though-provoking note:
What you don't realise is that with a certain level of fame and celebrity come deep levels of insecurity and anxiety which none of you accounts for. Everyone thinks I land in a chopper on top of my building and I have the most cushy existence. Could you understand that I might have the most messed up life myself? That I am probably in bed lonely most nights, sometimes even crying myself to sleep. I acknowledge that I am materially privileged, but I am not emotionally privileged. There are reasons for me to be lonely and sad on most days and I am probably as sad as you, the troller.
"The difference is I energize myself and my surroundings with a certain amount of positivity and optimism, and all you do is hate.
"I maybe as sad as you, as lonely as you, as messed up as you, but here's what I also know: I'm just a lot nicer than you."
More power to Karan Johar for taking on troll culture and homophobia in one go!