In this post, I talk about the latest book I read, my random thoughts on the book, and beyond.
Pictures are completely out-of-context. Just some places I visited last weekend! Don’t mind – I love them 🙂
As soon as I learned that Priyanka Chopra was going to publish her memoir, I was eager to get my hands on it. I wanted to read it cover to cover and know her story. I’ll be honest, I am not the biggest fan of her acting skills, but I find her to be a charismatic, brave, and extra-ordinarily talented star. She has a deep voice – when she talks, I just want to listen.
I remember watching Priyanka’s movie, Fashion as a teenager, and admiring her confidence with which she pulled off the vulnerable part of Meghna Mathur. She poured life into the character.
Going from Miss World to Desi Girl, to a Hollywood celebrity – She has achieved damn a lot. Time and again, she has stepped into an unknown room, introduced herself, worked hard, and gained a seat at the table. Priyanka is iconic, gorgeous, and admirable. Like any other person, she has her own story – highs and lows, tears and laughter, the book encapsulates all the details. It’s wholesome, to say the least.
I found myself crying a lot while reading some portions of this book. Priyanka’s biggest strength, like most of us, is her family. Her family has sculpted her into the powerful woman she is today. Her parents were both Army Doctors, and their stories are as moving as Priyanka’s. About three chapters of the book are based on her parents, childhood, and teenage years. She used to stay with her various uncles and aunties in the United States, when she was attending high school here. She indeed has a giant family. When I say giant, I mean extra-giant. I am sure she has at least ten first cousins, and then second, and so on. The acknowledgments section was two-pages long, which listed only half her family members.
Every time the book mentioned Priyanka’s parents and the sacrifices they made for her, it made me sob. It reminded me of my parents, and how they always had my back. I felt a sense of gratitude for my parents who just work tirelessly for my career and future. How they prioritize my health, my job, and my happiness before their own. It’s such a blessing to have someone you can always turn to.
I couldn’t help but envy Priyanka’s perfect family – her eternal source of support. She was brought up by two extremely loving, generous, and caring parents. They treated her as a person rather than a child, and she was always encouraged to make her own decisions independently. Born and brought up in a nuclear family, I have always longed for quality time with grandparents and playful banter with cousins – something I can only dream of having. It makes me weak. At the end of the day, it’s all about your family. It’s them you can turn to on your darkest days. It’s your cousins who are your first best friends.
Being raised in a family that struggled to make ends meet, childhood was certainly tough for me. After a long day at work, chatting and playing with me used to be the last item on my parents’ mind. They were young, naive, and struggling when they had me. Without me knowing, I too became a part of their struggle. I tried to be less of a burden and more of armor to them. That explains my emotionally exhausted self. I never knew what I missed until I peeked outside my small world. A big family with grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunties, long-drawn heartfelt discussions, never-ending festive parties, the infinite boxes of sweets piled up on the dinner tables, the drama, unplanned trips, and enthusiastic breakout dance sessions. I have missed a lot, and that’s what I see now.
I realized all this during last Diwali. I was at my friend’s relatives’ place – stunned and sat in one corner the whole time. The house had relatives flocking in the whole day, it was like a never-ending party. I felt lost. I was laughing, and eating and eating a lot, to be honest.
As a 23-year old adult, that day I discovered something that I had never experienced before – the sheer joy of family coming together.
Reading the book, drew back all those memories.
Priyanka is creative and hard-working. She has built an empire and sure has put a lot into her career. A risk-taker, she has dared to experiment, try, and fail at new things. One thing I learned from the book – No matter how good you are, there will be someone better than you in the room. So, instead of comparing, find something that makes you stand out and magnify it.
She embodies everything I admire – courage, confidence, empathy, and boldness. Her story makes me think of how the most trivial matters have a momentous impact.
The Takeaway moments
I was particularly moved by an incident that involves her father. Mr. Ashok was an army doctor and was stationed in Ladakh during the 80s. One of those days – A soldier was rushed into the tent with a bullet in his head. No one expected him to survive. Ashok did surgery on the spot, removing that bullet without any advanced medical support. It was a miracle. Even the soldier did not expect to survive. Years later, he was part of the funeral rituals for Priyanka’s dad. He saved hundreds of such lives during his time in the army.
The most painful part of the book was when she talks about her dad’s illness and his last days. Her dad struggled with cancer for years and pulled himself up every time Priyanka came to meet him, he put on a smiling face. He was brave, and so is his daughter.
Every time I forget to call my dad, he’d call me the next day and the first question goes like – Why did you not call me yesterday? I missed you. Damn, that’s sweet.
My mom on the other hand doesn’t have much to say. Though every time she misses me, she’ll just call me and start crying. Now I see where all the crying is coming from! ahhhhhh.
I wish to have a healthy relationship one day. I wish to find someone who sweeps my heart away. I wish to have a wholesome family, two pets, two endearing kids, and a big house in the middle of the city.
I enjoyed reading the inspiring journey of PC. I am going to add more such books in my library now.
(Next in line – A Promised Land by Barack Obama . . . It’s a huge book. 750 pages. DAMN)