The moment she said this in my short interview with her a couple of weeks ago, I knew it would stay with me. But, realistically, Priyanka Chopra Jonas has always been a source of inspiration for me, even if I haven’t come out and said it explicitly as such.
I had the absolute privilege to have a video interview with Priyanka for her recently released memoir, Unfinished. I’m half-way through the book and continue to be mesmerised by the way she’s explained certain points in her life with so much detail. However, it’s what she said in my chat with her that’s proven the most inspirational thought for me, even more so than another quote of hers which I have remembered since forever.
The “turn and pull” idea is one Priyanka told me she herself had recently heard about. I’d never heard of it myself so when she explained it a little more in detail, it spoke so many volumes about her that it has stayed with me. She revealed that whenever she’s had a success (which is many times), she always wants to turn around and pull other people into that success with her. It’s a rather refreshing concept for an Asian celebrity to explain, in my opinion, because – as she’s explained in a recent interview elsewhere – she’s experienced quite a bit of negativity from her own community in her career. This is true for any career and any Asian community really – I’m not entirely sure whether that’s because Asians want to be seen as always being better than one another or simply down to jealousy and envy. (If you’d like to watch the whole interview, you can watch it here: Amrita interviews Priyanka Chopra Jonas)
Going back to the other quote of Priyanka’s which I have never forgotten… It was an interview I’d seen of hers on an Indian news channel where the presenter/journalist had asked her a question about another actor/actress. And Priyanka, in her response, had said “Meri zindagi kisi aur se nahin chalti…” [My life doesn’t revolve around another person] This is also something the Asian community is plagued with – worrying about other people. The British Asian media industry is quite similar, as I mentioned above. Most people are caught up in trying to do better than someone else rather than focusing on their own talent or career. It’s a sad truth but a truth nonetheless.
This is why I find Priyanka such a huge inspiration. She really has done things on her own terms and is continuously thriving to open doors for others, which she already has done for so many. Even if she hasn’t done it personally, she’s created a path in which others can follow and find they are taken seriously, so to speak. This is not likely to have happened before she arrived on the Western scene to create her own identity, having only known the Eastern world side of entertainment norms.
Thank you, Priyanka, for being conscious of the things some of don’t even think about and leading the way where noone like us had walked before. And thank you so much more for turning and pulling us all up with you.
PS. If you have watched the video interview and would like to read the open letter I wrote to Priyanka, you can do so here.