The prime minister Narendra Modi should be proud of her. Not only has she taken Bollywood and Indian cinema to the West, she is not undeniably and certifiably India’s most articulate and sexy ambassador in the US.
Think Priyanka.Think American talk shows. Think desi. In each of her numerous appearances on various talk shows in the US, Priyankahas made sure to have spoken of her own country with deep and sincere affection, going as far as to subtly snub the stern Chelsea Handler when she wondered, in all her American self-centredness, if Indians speak English.
Well, they do, Chelsea. And they can also be as ‘American’(read: sassy and self-confident) as any any local.
Priyanka has also taught us that to be an Indian nationalist one needn’t be a tri-colour waving zealot . One can convey one’s love for country and culture without aggression and selfrightenousness. When host Stephen Colbert wondered why there was so much singing and dancing in Indian films, Priyanka quickly pointed out that the year’s most celebrated Hollywood film La La Land also featured a whole lof of singing and dancing. She also let the discernibly dazzled Colbert know that she disapproved of Indian cinema being known as ‘Bollywood’ since no such place existed in India.
The ‘Bollywood’ swipe earned Priyanka the approval of no less thanAmitabh Bachchan who has for decades being fighting off the demeaning tag of “Bollywood” for us.
It would be no exaggeration to say that in her restrained zeal to propagate her Indianness Priyanka has been more of a native brand ambassador than the other prominent Bollywood imports, namelyIrrfan Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who have never really spoken about India or Indian cinema with quite the same infectious warmth as Priyanka.
The piece de resistance of PeeCee’s patriotism was her Holicelebration with Jimmy Fallon on his celebrated talk show on Sundaywhere she actually got Fallon to play Holi with real colours on the show. Priyanka also explained the significance of Holi . The host not only shared colours but also thandai with his Indian guest.
Way to go, Priyanka. Let the West know we are no longer hiding our love for singing, dancing and festivities .That we are very proud of being a culture and people with a rich musical heritage. We love ourthandai as much as our red wine and we in our homeland did La La Land 70 years ago in Uday Shankar’s Kalpana.
Martin Scorcese loves Kalpana. The average Indian moviegoer has no clue about it.It takes a Priyanka Chopra to re-ignite a cultural pride in the young Indian. She’s serving the nation well.