Karan Johar is known to pry about the private lives of celebrities on his chat show, Koffee with Karan, and this is maybe one of the only connective tissues that could remind fans of what the show used to be, and what it is now. One the most memorable instances of Karan asking such questions happened in a 2007 episode with Tabu.
Karan asked her point-blank if the rumours about her dating ‘men who live in the southern part of the country’, after Tabu had assured him that she was, indeed, single. She chose to not respond, and gave him a poker-faced look. Tabu was joined on the episode by her The Namesake director Mira Nair, and later, by filmmaker-choreographer Farah Khan.
“The south is a very big territory, you’ll have to tell me now, because there are many…” Tabu began, and Karan asked, “You’ve started going into Tamil Nadu, Karanataka, you want me to be that specific?” Tabu said, “See, I’ve done films in all languages… They always ask me questions from 15 years ago, so I don’t know how to answer that. What are you asking about? Nagarjuna?”
Karan countered, “Nagarjuna you only said, I didn’t say.” She continued, “This is the only rumour which is the constant in my life since I was 16 years old.” Karan asked her if the rumours about moving to Hyderabad were true, and she said, “Not because of him. It’s because I made a house for myself there, and because I belong to Hyderabad. But this Nagarjuna story is very old, and it keeps coming back. The media wants to give the impression that boyfriends can come and go, but Nagarjuna remains.”
She continued, “I don’t know what to say about it, except that he’s one of the closest people in my life, and he’s one of the most important relationships that I have. My relationship with him is very dear to me, and nothing can ever change or alter my relationship with him. I don’t have any label for it, and I can’t do anything about it.” Karan suggested that she call it a ‘friendship’, but Tabu said that the term is often ‘abused’.
Later, in the rapid fire round, when Karan asked Tabu to rate Nagarjuna on ‘sex appeal’, she gave him a nine on 10. The two actors have appeared together in the Telugu language films Aavida Maa Aavide, Ninne Pelladata and Sisindri. Nagarjuna had also addressed the rumours in an old interview with The Times of India, and had said, “When you mention her name, my face lights up… It’s that simple.” Koffee with Karan is currently airing its seventh season on Disney+ Hotstar.