Thought of adding a baritone to my voice: Karan
Mumbai: Filmmaker Karan Johar says growing up he was called "pansy" and was so tormented at one point that he thought of adding a baritone to his voice because people said he sounded like a girl.
Karan said it is problematic when people start putting things in boxes and use phrases like "don't cry like a girl" or "be a man."
"Masculinity or feminity is being comfortable in your skin. You would not put things in boxes. Like I would not tell my child to not cry like a girl. That's ridiculous. If he wants to cry, he should cry. I wouldn't tell him, 'Don't walk or dance like a girl.'
"I was told these things in my school, by my teachers. They are all stuck in boxes. You are meant to be in a certain way. I have been tormented to a point where I went to a speech therapist to change my voice, to bring a baritone," the director said.
The Ae Dil Hai Mushkil director said he was 15-year-old when he went to the speech therapist as he was in that "awkward age" and his voice was "squeaky".
"Everybody would say, 'You sound like a girl.' I heard that like a million times and I told the therapist, 'Can you make me sound like a boy?' It was not fun. I did it for three years. This gentleman gave me voice exercises. It was embarrassing and torturous.
"I used to tell my father that I was going to a tuition class because I did not want to say I was going to 'become a man.' I should not have been put through that. If I was sounding a certain way, it should have been okay," he added.