INDIAN PAGEANT

Priyanka Chopra – Her fairy tale journey from a small town girl to a Global star

 

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If Superman cousin Supergirl was an Indian actress, it definitely would be Priyanka Chopra. Priyanka Chopra is tough, strong, diligent, persevering etc. She has every quality of a super hero. That is why every person she has worked with is in awe of her hard-working nature and never give up attitude. As for a fan like you and me, it is there to be seen through the kind of movie she does and following her work.

I am so proud of Priyanka Chopra. Having followed her as a loyal fan from her Miss India days to until now, her journey hasn’t been smooth. But it’s her perseverance and well grounded persona that pay off in the end. She is definitely a destiny child. Being her ardent fan from her Miss India days I knew she was definitely going to become a big star one day. Following her journey has only increase my admiration for her. Her journey is definitely like a fairy tale. She had not had it easy and there were  villians and stepmoms waiting for her but she remains focus and keep herself grounded. She is today an icon  and role model for  people. This article is about her journey from Miss India to Miss World, some of her films that I thought were amazing and blew me away with her performances, and the person she is today.

In the year 2000, Internet wasn’t a big thing as is today. Today you can surf the net and know about a contestants profile from various sources. During those times the only way to know a contestant was to buy Femina magazine 1 month before Miss India finale as Femina would publish the contestants’ profile. I read about her in Femina one month before Miss India 2000 finale. She was competing with the likes of Lara Dutta, Wallusa, Gayatri etc. Priyanka was raw and very natural. She was naturally charming and her personality shined. The way she blushed was so bewitching. I would then call her raw star/beauty and a princess who was waiting to become a queen.

At the Miss India 2000 finale, as the night progressed she charmed everyone with her intelligent and raw natural beauty. She placed over many favourites and established models. It was her confidence and positive energy that helped her. During the top 10 round I love how she blushed and that star struck moment of her when Shah Rukh Khan asked her – ‘Who would you rather marry – a great Indian sportsman who would take you all over the world and make you swell with pride or an artistic businessman who would deck you with jewels and necklaces or a Hindi film stars?’ She answered, ‘If I were to choose one this very difficult choices then well I think I would go for a great Indian sportsman because when I come back or he comes back I know I will there to be his support to tell him I am proud of him just as much as India is. To be able to tell him ‘Hey look! You did your best and you are the best’. And I will take immense pride in my husband who will be a man of strong character if he can bring so much pride to my country.” The crowd was impressed. So were the judges. She became the crowd favourite along with Lara Dutta and Diya Mirza.

She then progressed to the Top 5. There was no doubt about that after watching her in the top 10. To a common question, ”If you were a police officer in the Eden garden Who would you punish for the original sin – Adam, Eves or the serpent?” Priyanka replied, “If I was the police officer in the Garden of Eden then I will Punish Satan the serpent because I believe that evil is instigated not created. Eve thought Satan was right. She believed him. Let us get a moral from this to do decide between good and bad without being bias.” She had to face another question and answer round since there was a tie. I believe the tie was between Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra.

The common question was “If ignorance is bliss then why do we seek knowledge?” Priyanka’s answer was “Ignorance may be called bliss, Knowledge is what makes us realized what ignorance is but is the knowledge that let us see and seek our potential and view the world in a wider perspective. Knowledge to me is bliss.” Lara Dutta might be ahead of her in every department but the raw beauty Priyanka gave a neck to neck fight and she was no less than her. In the end she won Miss India World. I remember telling people she was definitely a good choice for Miss India World. From there her real journey started.

5a5eb0602853b8eb281bb0e484eba27cShe worked hard and she transformed. At the Miss World Pageant she had transformed into a beauty queen. I had no doubt that she would bring home the 5th Miss World crown. But I was conflicted inside since the previous year winner was from India too. She had to work harder at the same time not lose confidence. And she didn’t disappoint. When the top 10 were announced, she was the 9th contestant to be called on stage. That was a huge relief. Priyanka had said she was nervous about not being called initially and when at last she was called out she felt relaxed and she was sure she could bring the crown back.

At the top 10 interview, she was so calm, at ease and terrific. I really like the part she responded to Jerry when asked if in India people were like her and also when if she won what would she conquer next. Let’s have a look at the conversation and her top 5 winning answers.

Jerry : First of all we have Miss India last year. Right?

Priyanka : Yes we did, we did, Isn’t it good for our country. Isn’t it? Jerry : Yes it’s very good for your country. You have a lovely country. So everybody looks like you in India?

Priyanka : Well if you want them to (with a smile)

Jerry : do you feel like extra pressure when you came here this week knowing that Miss India won last year and ‘I am gonna be compared.’ Was there a pressure?

Priyanka : There’s always been pressure but I work best under pressure and if there’s no pressure, there won’t be any expectation and without expectation I won’t thrive for enthusiasm.(The crowd cheered to a thunderous applause)

Jerry : What do you want to happen after this, obviously you would like to win but if you won is this a stepping stone to something else in life?

Priyanka : Well it’s a stepping stone to anything I want to do because Miss world is a platform where I get a chance to influence people’s thoughts, mind and action which is the biggest power of them all. And to be able to do that will give me a power to help people understand what their rights are and what they can be, the best they can be.

Jerry : good for you If you win this will try to conquer another world next?

Priyanka : Well I have already conquered the world and I just need everything from them now.

The final question “Whom do you consider the most successful living woman, and why?” She answered, “There are a lot of people whom I admire and who have influenced me. One such person whom I admire from the bottom of my heart is Mother Teresa, for being so considerate, passionate and kind … giving up her life to put smiles on people’s faces. And I really respect her for that.” There were many who said she didn’t give right answer. She had said in an interview that she was too nervous when Jerry had asked that question and she couldn’t hear the word ‘Living’ in the question. She said she would have mentioned Hillary Clinton for standing up for her family. Whether she was speaking about a living personality or not, she spoke with confidence and conviction that was enough. Mother Teresa is a legend. And Legend lives forever. She is one the best Miss World ever.

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After her Miss World stint, she entered Bollywood. Being a former Miss World didn’t help much for her. It wasn’t an easy ride in Bollywood. Her movies were cancelled, she was being replaced or she was rejected. Priyanka Chopra got her first big break movie in The Hero: Love Story of a Spy. Later we saw her in Andaaz with Lara Dutta. She proved everyone that she can act and she can deliver what is required of her. Then came one of the most memorable movie of all time, i.e, Aitraaz where she essayed a role of Sonia a very ambitious women and someone who willAitraaz_albumcover choose Ambition and career over Love. She was just perfect. The movie entirely belongs to Priyanka Chopra. I was totally in love with her as the villainous and manipulator Sonia. She was devilishly sexy and attractive. The scene where she tried to seduce Akshay Kumar was path breaking. I haven’t seen a heroine seducing a hero so aggressively in Bollywood movies and the scene in the song ‘I wanna make love to you’ was very sensuous and she justified her seductress role. And she did it all with so much aplomb!

Next movies which really helped her to become a real actress and to be taken seriously was in Fashion_5164337377f60Fashion. Oh My God! She was simply amazing from the beginning to the end. I thought her journey in the movie from a small town girl to a romantic girl to becoming a successful model was superb. Each dialogue of her she delivered it with such an attitude and panache that you want to see her again and again. You could really see in her eyes the pain she went through when she drops her happy-go-lucky image. A person who can emote emotions through their eyes without speaking is a gifted actor. She was splendid. In real sense, Fashion somehow, at least for me, depicts her life from a small town girl to a successful actress. Like Meghna Mathur, Priyanka have a similar life. She has seen the ups and down of life and she has worked hard to become a top-notch actress that she is today.

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In Saat Khoon Maaf, playing 7 different complex characters with such an ease, Priyanka Chopra displays exquisite command over a complex character which proves her versatility. She was flawless indeed.

Barfi

Baarfi was one movie where we get to see a deglam Priyanka Chopra. Watching that movie I was speechless and it was unbelievable for me to see her playing a psychologically challenged person. She brought beauty and innocence to the role. And I was left awestruck. The character she played was a challenging one but through her incredible acting skills she showed charm and simplicity. This proves once again that she is indeed the best among her contemporary.

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Shah Rukh Khan might be the hero of the movie Don and its sequel. He might have a larger screen space but Priyanka proves her mettle in whatever screen time she was given. Don showed she can punch, kick and she is not someone to be taken easily. She has such a sizzling chemistry with Shah Rukh Khan. Even when she had to confront the Don, Shah Rukh, you could see in her eyes her conflicting mind and torn heart about her hatred and at the same time her soft side for the Don. Without even to speak in those few seconds of confrontation, her face speaks volume of what she is going through and what she wants to say. Again I love such actors who can speak through their eyes.

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Who would forget her role in Mary Kom? Where the film lack in story, Priyanka’s solid performance compensated for it. I don’t think any other actress can do such role with justice. It would have been a disaster. She continues to amaze us through her new avatar and her achievement is a kind of inspiration to many.

Dil Dhadakne Do

In the multi cast movie Dil Dhadakne Do, Priyanka managed to shine on her own without overpowering others. Some of my favourite scene in the movie would be an emotional scene between Anil Kapoor and Priyanka where she let her expressions do all the talking and the other would be where Priyanka speaks her heart out to her parents about her intention to divorce her husband. She didn’t speak much in that scene but her trembling body, fear in the eyes, and quivering lips says so much in a little time. Her performances in those scene were heart rendering and she definitely makes me feel for her.

Bajirao-Mastani

Bajirao Mastani is which I am excitedly waiting for. Priyanka as Kashibai in the movie is breathless. She looks spectacular in every scene of the trailer. “I haven’t dealt with such emotions. I needed to find out a way to feel those emotions to portray the same. In those times, the women did not say as much, so it’s mostly expressions… I am not vocal. I have a poignant role, where Kashibai is a tortured soul,” said Priyanka.

What makes Priyanka what she is today is because she is on her own. She doesn’t have to depend on anyone. She came and she conquers the industry with all she had. She had nothing to lose. She took risk and she succeeded. In some she failed but that didn’t deter her. Street smart, strong personality and endurance, she is someone who knows what she wants and remains firm on her ground.

It is said that experiences make a person wise and better. Priyanka is no exception. She might have been rejected or replaced when she was new to Bollywood but she is not someone who complains or be bitter at someone. Even when she was in the U. S. for high school, she faced racism which led her to leave her school midway and come to India. So from her experience as a racism victim she has been very vocal about it and she will not let that happen in her work. That is why she is very careful about the role she does in Hollywood. She will never do anything that stereotype India or any race. This is the reason she is going all over the place. She will soon be seen in a new TV series, Quantico where she plays the lead character and is a police officer. She is a Guess Model too. In fact she is the first non white model to be a Guess Model. Good things happen to good people and who suffers. Her single, “In My City” was played on American Idol during a clip when the top 3 visited their hometown, was a theme song for was selected as the theme song for 2013 season of the NFL network Thursday Night Football and was also selected as the theme song for the 2016 Centennial Cup America. ‘Exotic’ peak at No 12 on US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard). Another song of her ‘I can’t make you love me’ peaked at No. 28 on US Hot Dance/Electronic songs(Billboard) and the song was featured in a national ad campaign for the Beats Pill XL portable Bluetooth speaker. It is a milestone for her.

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Priyanka likes to keep her own worries and problem to herself. She doesn’t want her colleague to get affected just because she is going through hardship. I read Subhash Jha column long time back where he mentioned that during Bluff Master shooting Priyanka was worried about her dad as he was critically ill. But she won’t tell nor show it to anyone. When Subhash told her co-star, Abhishek Bacchan, of Bluff Master that Priyanka’s Dad was in the hospital, Abhishek had said it’s the first time he had heard about it and she looked so normal on the set. Priyanka in her own words said, “Why should I burden those around me with my pain? I’m sure they’ve their own worries. I’ve mine to deal with. I wouldn’t like it if they started unburdening their problems on me.” This is professionalism and being mature and honest to one’s work. I love her more ever since I read that column.

Today, Priyanka is in a place to boost about her achievement but the humble and modest actor she is, she will continue to let her work do the talking. She also believes in giving back to the society and as a celebrity who can influence people she is doing her bit. She is UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights. Priyanka is a supporter of environmental charities and is brand ambassador for NDTV’s Greenathon, an initiative to support eco-friendliness and improve electricity supplies to rural villages. To promote organ donation, Chopra pledged to donate her own organs after death.

Pushing beyond the boundary is her motto and while she continues to do that I will remain star struck and inspire because she can accept challenges and she has the stamina, mental power and high endurance to break barriers. She is a global star, extraordinary, unique and kind too. For a fan like me it will always be love and loyalty that will be at the core. Whatever she do I will wholeheartedly support her from my heart.

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