Of course, Shah Rukh Khan's voice was always a reason enough to catch the latest episode of Koffee with Karan season 7. After all, this is an SRK-deprived and obsessed audience, who latches on to any and every bit of the superstar that it can until his big screen comeback next year.
But in a fabulous fashion, the three famous Bollywood wives-- Gauri Khan, Bhavana Pandey and Maheep Kapoor-- not only brought their distinct flavour to the show but also reminded one of the good, old, heartening and revelatory format of Koffee with Karan, which has been sorely missing from its current season.
There's an obvious intrigue around Gauri Khan. She is the partner of India's most loved star, add to it she doesn't indulge fans and media even on her social media, which speaks to her individual identity and rightfully so. So, when she arrived on the show, hosted by her "Number One" person, it was an opportunity for audience to get a sneak peek into the Khan household. But Gauri went beyond that.
While she shared how she couldn't afford to be her husband's fan because 'You got to be real', she also revealed what personal ambition or the lack of it meant to her. 'I am not ambitious like Shah Rukh but I like what I do and when your family appreciates it, that gives me happiness.' Gauri came across remarkably comfortable in her skin, while quietly defying the perception one may have of 'Shah Rukh Khan's wife'.
To cite, when her longtime friends Bhavana and Maheep joined her, she took a backseat, enjoying their humourous banter with host Karan Johar as if she was an invisible spectator. The fact that there were enough instances to observe Gauri's personality feels like a win already for the episode because that's what a good chat show compels you to do: invest in the guest's mannerisms and make or break perceptions about them.
The fact that the other two ladies, who are now reality TV stars, had distinctive identities and diverse insights about being public figures, their friendship with Gauri and each other and raising kids, who could be tomorrow's stars, only lent more depth to the episode. Maheep, whose appearance on The Fabulous Lives of Bollywodo Wives has gotten polarising response with a section terming her more frivolous than her co-stars, spoke about the struggle, which perhaps she deliberately hides behind her sass: of having her family being called 'the unsuccessful ones' among the starry Kapoors.
Bhavna opened up about feeling wishful about the return of the stardom that her husband Chunky enjoyed in the initial phase of his career. What also made this specific episode wonderfully intimate was the close relationship that Karan shares with all the three guests. At one point, he asked Gauri if she ever overcompensated as a friend to Maheep and Bhavna because their husbands (Sanjay Kapoor and Chunky Panday, respectively) were far lesser successful than Shah Rukh. One wonders if the same question would have landed well had it been asked by a journalist? Not to dismiss the sensitivity that Karan infused it with. Will an outsider have the audacity to ask such a personal question, even though it's valid and delves into the complexity of friendships between public personalities.
Or when Karan indirectly referred to Gauri and Shah Rukh's son Aryan's arrest last year and how the family coped with it. But this is what always made Koffee with Karan cut above the rest. The host had the luxury and access to bring out stories of celebrities, which media bytes could not.
The heart in the episode was in sync with its humour as the three women brought their wit and cool mom advices like Gauri speaking for Suhana: 'Don't date two boys at a time' and Bhavna's word for Ananya: 'Date but don't get serious at this age' during the rapid fire or when Maheep picked money over love and 'raging orgasms' over romance.
The three ladies might not have a filmography, but what they delivered on the show was a fantastic one-hour film. The mother of all episodes this season.