Bombay Times Exclusive
“To maintain a strong, invincible front was always a choice for me. As a woman in the entertainment business, it was important to not show the chinks in your armour”
A wide-eyed girl from Bareilly became Miss World in 2000. She took Bollywood by storm before establishing herself as a global star and a powerful voice for women across the world. Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ journey and ability to reinvent herself and defy boundaries is fascinating. Beneath the confidence and swag, are there things that can rattle this desi girl? In her memoir, Unfinished, that will release next year, she hopes to reveal that and more. Priyanka, in an exclusive chat with Bombay Times, talks about her book and life beyond the obvious. Excerpts:
Priyanka, you redefine what’s normal. Not many have the courage to start from ground zero in a new industry (Hollywood), after such a successful career in Bollywood, that to many makes you seem invincible. What helped you become who you are today?
To maintain a strong, invincible front was always a choice for me. As a woman in the entertainment business, it was important to not show the chinks in your armour. I just decided to put my head down and let my work speak. Redefining rules that contain us or defying a pre-determined path is something I’ve always pushed for. As someone living in the 21st century, we should all be able to define the trajectory of our own lives. I am lucky to have had a family that encouraged me to push the boundaries and defy the stereotypes that existed. We are all human, and hopefully, Unfinished will show you the human side of me. My family, friends and team are the key people who have been a part of this journey with me.
Sharing your battles and story with the world, was it a liberating experience?
I’m a small-town girl who had dreams and aspirations bigger than I was supposed to have. So with my story, I hope the reader understands the resilience and grace under fire that is needed to chase their dreams. I will leave it to the readers to find their connect with my story, but I hope it inspires them to push boundaries and to be the best version of themselves. It was a cathartic experience writing this, as it brought so many memories back to the surface for me, which is my reward in so many ways.
Unfinished business’ is often looked upon as a sign of being incomplete. You can be perceived as a quitter. But it clearly holds a different meaning for you.
Not for me. Unfinished business is not incomplete if it doesn’t fit the trajectory of your life. I prefer not to carry baggage, and I do that by not taking that extra load as I move forward. It’s a positive thing in my perspective. I zeroed in on this name because by God’s grace, I’ve done a lot, but I still have a lot of things that I want to do, so still ‘unfinished’.
You have been in the limelight since you were 18. Your journey to global stardom is almost fairy-tale like. What we don’t know about are the struggles, rejection and heartbreaks, which is common to every human being…
The book will give you an insight into my journey in my words… it’s sort of the ‘in-between interviews’ version of my life, the public version versus my real story. People may see it as a fairy tale. I’m glad it was perceived so. I’ve always been private about my struggles which I will discuss in the book.
We ask because memoirs are extremely personal that tend to conceal little. Be it failed relationships, facing unsavoury incidents as an actress in the film industry, racism and beyond. Was it challenging to retain those chapters of your life in the book?
That’s for me to know and you to find out when you read the book. As I said, it is a vulnerable version of me that only I can explain, a curtains-down look at my life in my words.
For any young talent in India who wishes to follow your footsteps and dreams of becoming a global star someday, what would be your advice to them?
You can do what you dream of. You just have to try. Add hard work, perseverance, confidence, determination and vision into the mix – and the world is yours! Having said that, I also want them to know that it’s okay to pick up, walk away, leave things unfinished, and move on to what’s next if that’s what your journey requires to get to the next destination. Everyone’s story is different so what you focus on is what you can create for yourself.
Source From : Times Of India