|40 Questions: Priyanka Chopra|
Are you a good liar?
I’m a lousy liar and I get caught very easily. My mother says I have a very transparent face.
What’s going on in your mind
My brother’s 9th grade project on Pakistan. Since we’ve
chosen a topic as controversial as Pakistan, we have to do some thorough research. We’re busy scanning the Net, poring
over the Encyclopaedia Britannica and going through old issues of news magazines. I’m loving it.
Who pops the question to you in David Dhawan’s Mujhse Shaadi Karogi?
Both Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan ask me to marry them. I’m the common love interest between
the two guys.
Have you ever been in a love triangle in
Yes I’ve been part of a love triangle. It is extremely flattering
to have two guys wooing you simultaneously.
How come Akshay
Kumar and you pair up together so often?
Post Andaaz, people just came up to me
with projects opposite Akki. Waqt, Aetraaz and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi are all big banner films and they have fantastic roles
for me. I’m not going to give them up just because Akki is the leading man in them.
Could you tell us three things about Salman Khan?
misunderstood, intelligent and a good actor.
mind rule your body or is it the other way around?
My heart rules my mind and
my body. I try to behave like this confident, worldly-wise girl who has a mind of her own. But eventually, it is my heart
that takes over.
Which is the way to a man’s heart?
Well, most people say it is through his stomach. But I don’t think that’s
true. According to me a man likes a woman who is sincere, coy and wild all rolled into one. You’ve also got to be honest.
Though I don’t think you should put all your cards on the table. A man also likes an element of mystery in a woman.
What scares you the most?
Losing my mind. Losing memories. I truly cherish memories. And I’m petrified I will wake up some day and not
be able to remember the moments gone by. I don’t drink and I will never take any intoxicating substance because I’d
hate to lose my mind even for a brief while.
But losing my heart is something
I look forward to.
What was your first kiss like?
It was so fleeting it didn’t even register.
What is your idea of romance?
Mush, mush and more mush. I’m
blinded by this idealised Mills and Boon romance.
you give in to pure lust?
I don’t believe in pure lust.
There has to be some degree of emotion or nothing lustful can happen.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’m very emotional, hyper-sensitive and I think too much. I try to find reasons for everything. If someone is
even vaguely rude to me I go into a blue funk and I start thinking I’m not good enough. I wish I were tougher.
How old were you when you first fell in love?
Love! I’m fascinated by this four-letter word. I’m still trying to find my own interpretation of love.
I was definitely infatuated when I was 17. But I don’t know about love.
Does commitment scare you?
No. I’m actually looking
forward to it but I’m not yet ready for it. It is the fear of failing in that commitment that scares me.
When did you last feel utterly insignificant?
I was shooting at the Rohtang Pass near Manali recently and I was standing on this one peak all by myself. Around me
was an expanse of land that seemed endless, a grandeur I’d never seen before.
looked below and saw a river. A 70-plus man was trying to cross it along with a child on a mule. From the way the boy was
coughing and sneezing, I guessed he was unwell. Next, I saw the old man take off his own woollen cape and wrap the child in
It was a freezing 3íC, but the man braved the cold just so that he could keep
the boy warm. Watching this scene made me feel utterly insignificant. At that point I felt I hadn’t done enough for
anyone in life.
We are such a small part of the Universe and yet we like to play
God. Also, we’re constantly harping about I, me and myself. That’s so sad. We need to really go out there and
do our bit.
What is the cutest thing about you?
My giggling. I break into peals of laughter very often. At times, I don’t even know why I
What was your pet name in school?
I had two pet names. My parents called me Mimi, after a French actress. Actually my pet name was
Mithu but I couldn’t pronounce it as a child so I’d introduce myself as Mimi. And because of this actress they
liked, Mimi it was. But in school I was called Sunshine. All my notebooks had my name as Priyanka aka Sunshine.
What do you joke about?
About anything. I’m quite the joker in my family.
you tell us three unknown facts about yourself?
One: I’m a complete homebody.
I’m happiest with my family around me. When I was in Manali for a 40-day schedule this summer, my entire khandaan from
Ambala and Chandigarh visited me. We rented out a bungalow and had a gala family reunion.
Two: I hate partying. I’m from a conservative background. People may probably not be able to accept that because
of what I do in my movies. But movies are a job and I’m very different from the public perception that people have of
me. I’m not the Priyanka people saw in Kismat, Andaaz or any of my other movies.
Three: I love poetry. Both English and Urdu. My favourite poets are Emily Dickson, Faiz Saab and Ghalib.
Is God inside or outside us?
is both inside and outside us. He is inside us because we derive our energy from Him. He is what I identify as my conscience
that guides my actions. He is outside us when we’re going through a crisis and He paves the path for us to follow.
Which has been the most memorable phone call of your life?
The one telling me I was selected for the Femina Miss India contest. I was at home alone, studying
for my board exams. In between my studies I’d taken a short break, switched on the television and was watching the climax
of Mera Naam Joker. I had tears streaming down my cheeks when the phone rang and I didn’t even want to pick it up.
When I did, the lady at the other end said, ‘Hi, I’m Ila calling from The Times Of
India. You have been selected to participate in the Femina Miss India contest. Please come to Delhi in the next three days,
bring a swimming costume, high-heeled shoes and don’t wear any make-up. See you then.’ And the line went click.
I hadn’t gotten a word in sideways but I was terribly excited.
Which is your most treasured possession?
The folder in which I jot down
lines from poetry that has impressed me. Or the sher-o-shaiyiri that I write. I don’t share my poems, they’re
not for public consumption.
When did you last laugh till
When violins played every time Shah Rukh Khan spotted Sushmita Sen
in Main Hoon Na. I think it was the cutest, funniest, most romantic thing I saw and I laughed so much I had tears in my eyes.
Which is the best place to be?
Home. Everyone reading this piece will think I’m a sucker for my home. But when you do a job that requires you
to travel 300 out of 365 days, then you really value being at home. Even out of the 60 days that one is in Mumbai, one gets
just five to six full days at home.
Which item of clothing
has shaped your identity?
The sari. Ever since I was a child, I would steal my
mother’s sari and try to drape it. Today I can wear a sari in two minutes flat. Whenever I’m stuck about what
I should wear to a function, I pick out a sari. It can flatter a great figure and hide a bad one.
What colour is Sunday?
White. Sunday is like a blank
canvas. It has endless possibilities. One can do so much with it.
Are you short-tempered?
I don’t lose my temper too often. But when
I do, all hell breaks loose. I must also confess that my temper lasts only five to 10 minutes. Once I have finished yelling,
I’m back to normal.
If you had to make one apology,
what would it be and to whom?
I’d say sorry to all those people in the industry
whom I may have hurt. One isn’t always thinking straight and as a result one may have ended up hurting someone. I think
of the industry as my family. It provides me with my bread and butter. It’s my passion.
Do you have it in you to kill someone?
I can kill a
mosquito. That’s about it. The truth is that I can’t handle the sight of blood. But, I guess if someone I love
is threatened, then the killer side of me would surface.
are you most terrified of being remembered as?
As Satan personified, a bad child
or as a failure.
How do you rate yourself as a dancer?
On screen I’d give myself a 6 on 10. Off screen, a 10 on 10 perhaps.
How important is money to you?
know the value of money because there were times in our family when we didn’t have it.
When my school satchel tore, my parents would send me to the cobbler to get it mended instead of buying me a new one.
Without going into too much detail, I can say we have seen good and bad times. I definitely believe in saving for a rainy
What is your view on same-gender sex?
I don’t know whether I can relate to it or accept it yet. I don’t even know if I can
understand it. But I’m very much for gay rights. And freedom of choice must be respected. We live in a liberal world
and I think everyone has a choice to love/live with whom they want. But I don’t know if I can handle seeing it.
If I saw a gay couple, I’d definitely go, ‘Whoa, what was that!’
What do you think of pornography?
is an ‘Only for adults’ issue. There has to be very strict censorship for it. It is something you watch behind
closed doors. As parents you’ve got to make sure you keep it out of reach of your children.
What keeps you sailing in a crisis?
The strength I derive
from my family. My mother always tells me, if you go out and shoot someone, you can come back and tell us and we’ll
deal with it together. That’s how close-knit we are.
Ever been caught red-handed?
I was in summer school in New York and I needed
to get my grades up. I was slightly lazy about my projects because it was vacation time. And I had this kid in school who
was crazy about me. He was not a great looker but he was fabulous with Math. I made him do my summer project and guess what?
As luck would have it he submitted the project in his handwriting and my teacher caught me on it.
My parents were really upset. Till then they’d been really proud of me because I was good at studies.
I was 16 then and I swore I would never resort to cheating again.
Which lyrics truly mean something to you?
There is this
ghazal which goes, Jaane kya dhoondti rehti hain yeh aankhen mujhme, raakh ke dher mein shola hai na chingaari hai. It’s
from the movie Shola Aur Shabnam. Mohammed Rafi has sung Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics, tuned by Khayyam. I keep humming the song
all the time.
Could you tell us about your most romantic
Well, I call it my romantic date because it was my mother’s birthday
and the guy I was seeing organised a private dinner for my mother, him and me. There was also a band playing and he belted
out the number Careless whispers which is a personal favourite of both my mum’s and mine.
He was a real bad singer but I loved the thought behind the whole thing. He also gave me a CD with all my favourite
numbers on it. And he had linked each song to some trait in my personality. Which I think is the most romantic thing anyone
Which is the best way to say good-bye?
Don’t say it.