During an interview with Film Companion, Karan Johar spoke about how he loved dancing to the old Hindi movie songs in his childhood, till he grew old enough where he was being judged and body shamed. The filmmaker also revealed that actor Tota Roy Chowdhury’s character in the film (who plays Alia Bhatt’s father) is borrowed from Johar’s childhood.
“I was very effeminate and I used to dance in my own room to Hindi film songs to Lata ji's songs and my dad thought it was a great, he used to see me dance on ‘Dafliwale’ and I used to do the Jaya Prada part,” said Johar in conversation with Anupama Chopra.
Johar also revealed that he was always accepted and appreciated by his family so he never realized anything wrong in effeminacy, “I used to pick up the step and my father used to watch and clap and every time his friends came, he would say Karan vo dance dikhao (Karan, show us that dance) and he would put on the song and I would dance and no one told me there was anything wrong with it at that time so I grew up thinking this is fine.”
He further added, “Much later when u go to college and when you realize that you carry that through and you do those moves and people look at you and laugh and your called all kinds of things and there are terms used and it stayed in my heart, I feel like I grew up with that feeling that I was laughed at my body language or for my way of being, somewhere Tota's character is borrowed from my childhood and when he says hunor ka koi gender nahi hota (Talent had no gender) I believe that.”