Monday, June 10, 2013

Priyanka Chopra remembers Papa

Jun 11, 2013,Mumbai :--

Recalling her earliest memories of her father Priyanka said in an interview. "As a child, I loved reading. I just loved sitting on the window and reading and watching down on the streets. My dad was in the army so we were always on the move. He taught me to drive at 13 when he'd take me to school. I was very scared of driving… My dad used to be a doctor in the army until he took voluntary retirement in 1997. He' s a trained artiste, painter and singer. He used to be called the singing surgeon. He used to do shows for the army."

Priyanka inherited her father's love for singing. "My dad sings, though not professionally. I'm a big fan of my father's singing. I love singing. Ever since I was a child, I dreamt of getting in a white gown to sing on stage like Whitney Houston. I've been trained in Western classical singing. I used to sing soprano in a choir." One of my earliest memories — when I was three — is of my dad on stage looking at me and singing. If he didn't look at me while singing I'd get extremely miffed. Sometimes he used to call me on the stage to sing an African song that I knew."

When Priyanka decided to participate in the Miss India contest she was apprehensive of her father's reaction. "We come from a very conservative family. All this glamour and showbiz was very new to my dad. It was my mom who told him about my plans… I wasn't willing to talk to him about it. Initially, he wasn't convinced. But my mom and I reasoned that it was just a holiday in Mumbai and that I didn't stand a chance in hell of winning. Who knew?! I had never modeled before. I had my portfolio done for the first time for the pageant. I thought myself as a very ugly child. I saw myself as an ugly duckling who's one day turn into a swan. Before the pageant, I used to cry to my mom about how ugly I was. Even now, it takes 90 minutes of hair clothes and makeup to make me look decent."

She recalled, "After I won Miss India my mom and I moved to Mumbai. Dad joined us later. And so did my brother. Dad has always been super-encouraging. We bought a house and started a clinic for mom and dad. They became practicing doctors again. He later joined Leelavati as managing director." The aura of happiness faded away. "His illness was a big blow. My dad always told me to keep working normally. I'd never let him down by letting the strain show. Now that he's healing I feel grateful…. grateful that this trauma happened at a time when I could afford his treatment. I'm so relieved I could afford the best treatment. If it had happened two years ago I wouldn't have been able to do anything. I've always believed daughters care as much as sons, if not more. And even when they get married they continue to care a lot more for their parents. My mom has several sisters and my naani stays with all of them."

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