On Priyanka Chopra Marriage Subhash K Jha Unravels Her, “The Complete Package”


From saying no to the unfaithful wifes role inSanjayGuptasMusafirto blissfully sinking herdecalcifiedteeth into the role of a woman who kills seven husbands and gets away with murder,to conquering the West withQuanticoand Baywatch…and now playing at your nearest theatre Mrs Nick Jonas,PriyankaChopra has come a long long way in 16years.

I remember Gupta was deeply offended whenPriyankahad said no toMusafir.He thought it was a dream role for a relatively new heroine. She thought it was outside her comfort zone.The matter ended there.You cant makePriyankaChopra change her mind.

SameeraReddyfinally played the wanton wife who cheats on husbandMaheshManjrekarwhen strangerAnilKapoor(with streaked hair, the stranger couldnt get any stranger) strays into town.After seeingMusafirI askedPriyankawhy she had said no to it.

Did you seeMaheshManjrekarsaying, Blouse khol to his wife?Priyankaretorted.She didnt sound shocked or scandalized, just amused.

We both burst out laughing.

Its rare to findPriyankamaking a politically incorrect statement even as a joke.Earlier on Id tease her about being the new RaniMukherjeewho always made sure she said the correct things.

Thats good,na.Rani is so good at her job and so successful.

The comfort-zone is a place thatPriyankais very sure about.She wont say no to a role because it requires body exposure.She carries off the micro-mini-est of dresses with panache because shes confident that her legs talk. But she isnt comfortable flaunting cleavage.If the character says and/or wears things that seem odd she would say no to it.And no amount of money would cajole her to reverse her decision.

Priyankais the most obdurate actress Ive come across.She gives you a long rope as a journalist.But if shes put off she takes a long time to come around.

Write what you want as long as it isnt slanderous or damaging, she once told me.At that time she was trying to make things work for her withShahidKapoorwho had issues regarding her friendship with other men.

An article I wrote onPriyankaand Gerard Butler messed up things even more betweenShahidandPriyanka.It took her a long time to get over that one.It messed up her plans for her heart.

Priyankaalways has a game-plan which I suspect,is hidden away even from God.

In her early days in the film industryPriyankawas not so sure of which way to go with her career.The hunger to excel was always there.In the mornings before shooting started for her first few films(The Herowith SunnyDeol,AndaazwithAkshayKumar) she attendedKathakand yoga classes.Thats when she would call from her car.

You dont call me.Youve bigger heroines to talk to, she would say and laugh throatily.In that laughter was secreted theselfconfidencethat she too would make it big in no time at all.

Priyankahad set an actual time-frame for herself during which she was sure she would get to the top.

In those early days her father would often negotiate projects forPriyanka.J.PDuttawas casting forUmraoJaan.BothPriyankaand her dad were very keen that she get the part. JP quietly signedAishwaryaRaiBachchan.Not once did I hearPriyankabitch or crib about the injustice of it all.And neither did she gloat whenUmraoJaaneventually turned out to be a fiasco.

Come to think of it,many parts thatPriyankahas instinctively turned down or the ones that have been snatched away, have turned out to be turnips at the turnstiles.

I once told her she is blessed.

Not blessed, she laughed throatily. I work hard .And Ive a good judgment of what works for me.

In all the time that Ive known her Ive never heardPriyankabitch about any of her competition. NotAishwarya, Kareena.not even Katrina. Its always others who have felt threatened byPriyanka.

I think women and men see something predatory about me, she had languidly meowed to me.Before I could react she had burst out laughing.

The thing aboutPriyankais,she is far more street-smart and far stronger than all her competitors.Kareenathinks with her heart.Priyankadoesnt let her heart dictate her decisions.Ive seen her go through the best and the worst of times. She remains firm on her ground,no matter how slippery it gets.

Beyond doubt her worst time so far was when her father fell ill.On the day after she found out his condition,she was on the sets ofBluff Mastershooting normally. No one had a clue about the turmoil she was going through.

In the evening when her co-starAbhishekBachchanwas on the phone with me I mentionedPriyankas pain to him. That was the first he heard of it.

Why should I burden those around me with my pain? she asked me.Im sure theyve their own worries.Ive mine to deal with.I wouldnt like it if they started unburdening their problems on me.

TodayPriyankahas shaped into one of those actresses who are good at her job very successful and very very dependable.When a director signs her he signs an all-rounderwith some delectable curves thrown in.Ask any filmmaker.Hell tell you why he wantsPriyankafor his film,regardless of the nature of the part.

The other day I was speaking to a director who was going through the list of actresses for his next film. I wantedKareenafor the part.But she has changed so much in appearance.TheKareenainKambakhtIshqis not the same girl I loved inRefugeeandJab Wemet.She haschanged.As for the others,they are flush with good and bad points.But none qualifies as a complete package likePriyanka.Today shes in a position to play any character.She loves challenges.And shes physically and emotionally equipped to handle them.

It hasnt been easy getting here.WhenPriyankaand LaraDuttcame into the film industry simultaneously it was Lara who was seen as the potential star.Priyankaraced ahead, not just because of her talent but impeccable PR.She has the ability to be naturally charming to people around her.Being Ms Congeniality is not a role for her.Its part of her,just like being a good sister,a good daughter and a good girlfriend.

She doesnt talk about her relationships, and theres a reason for it.Aeonsago before she became a star she was seeingAseemMerchant. She moved on.People continued to refer toAseemas PCs boyfriend .Priyankadidnt want HarmanBawejato go through the same humiliation.

Priyankais the female ShahRukhKhan, and not only because she doesnt get along withSalmanKhan. LikeSRK,PC genuinely believes she is in competition only with herself.Each time signs on to endorse a brand she checks to see herself in the mirror,and not the zeroes on the cheque.With success she has transformed physically.Her legs are longer.Her cheekbones are sharper.Her nose is more aquiline and her teeth whiter.

But inside her she remains the same.While aRanveerSingh or for that matterRanbirKapoor andKangnaRanautchanged with success,Priyankaremains the same.

It hasnt been easy getting here.I dont know whether she knows this(and Ive never told her). But one of her co-stars secretly referred to her as Dark Side Of The Moon.He would often make fun of how she looked without makeup.

Yup,things have changed.With or without makeup,Priyankalights up the screen the wayShabanaAzmidid 25 years ago.After seeing her inSaatKhoonMaafGulzarhad said, She looks beautiful even when she grows old in the film.

In real life tooPriyankawould be comfortable with wrinkles and grey hair.She doesnt shy away from peeping into the dark side of the moon. She isnt fearful of ugliness.Not as an actor. Not as an individual.She has yet to learn how to bitch about her co-stars.But what the heck!No one is perfect.

Not evenPriyankaChopra.

In spite of her huge star power that extends all the wayfromBandrato Beverly Hills,Choprahas in some way or another been blacklisted by take a deep breathAkshayKumar,SalmanKhan,AamirKhan ,RanbirKapoorand ShahRukhKhan. The only top notch heroes who are happy being paired withChopraareHrithikRoshanandRanveerSingh.

This is a good time forPriyankato consider the future course of her career. Given the complete dominance of the make superstars inBollywoodcan shesurvive without patriarchal patronage?

Its a question with no simple answer. On one hand the female superstar may be congratulated forploughingher own field , mining a career that tries to be independent of male support. On the other hand, how far can a leading lady go unless she has the superstars in her side?

MumtazandSharmilaTagore, two of the biggest female superstars of the 1970s benefited immensely from their association with thebaapof all superstarsRajeshKhanna.

Another superstar of that eraJayaBhaduridid a host of good films with smaller co-stars likeAnilDhawanandVijayArora. But it was her pairing withAmitabhBachchanwhich placed her at the centre of the movement towards femalesuperstardom.ZeenatAmanpiggybacked her stardom on Dev Anands patronage. AndHemaMalinithe biggest female superstar of her era, had every male superstar being cast opposite her.

The rules havent changed since then.DeepikaPadukoneis equally at home working with ShahRukhKhan ,RanbirKapoorandRanveerSingh. After Katrina Kaifs fall-out withRanbirKapoorshe is looking to work with her ex-boyfriend and mentorSalmanKhan again.

Given the scarcity of co-starsPriyankahas made her move into Hollywood at the right time.

AkshayKumarnahin,Dwayne Johnson hisahi. The Sky Is Pink and the mood is crimson asPriyanka plunges into matrimony.

Wishing you a timeless togetherness. You deserve it. You do us proud.

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