I am a huge admirer of Priyanka Chopra. I was eagerly awaiting the chance to read her memoir, Unfinished, and now that I did, I am more in awe of her.
The book starts with her childhood memories and what it was like growing up with parents who treated her as an individual who has an equal say. Priyanka recounts a story when she asked her father, why her name was not on the house name plate. Any other adult would have dismissed it as a child’s zid, but her father thought on it and said, “You are right. You live in this house too. Your name should be on it.”
She credits her career to her parents, who shuttled between their hospital commitments and moved around the world with her so that she could flourish. And her brother who kick-started the whole thing by sending her nomination to Miss India without even informing her.
Priyanka says that she is an amalgamation of the East and the West. She grew up and lived in different cities in India, moved to the US for high school, came back and became a Bollywood star and eventually transitioned into Hollywood.
She believes that we shouldn’t strive to fit into a mold of society-approved-standards. That infact, our difference is our strength. It is what makes us stand out & more importantly, it is what makes us , “us”
She also believes that we should have a go at every opportunity that comes our way. And not just try it for fun, but invest our 100% in it. If it works, it will pay off dividends. If not, then what’s the worst that will happen? Whatever might be the failure, it will not be for lack of effort.
This has been her strategy for her entire career. She entered the Miss India contest, while studying for her XIIth boards. She took up film offers and prepped herself for every role that came along her way. Sometimes, some opportunities tanked, like her music career which didn’t really take off – but as she says, it wasn’t for lack of effort.
Priyanka also showcases how important it is to swallow the pride pill & not shy away from starting at the bottom; which is what she did when she established her career in the US.
I enjoyed reading about how Nick “slided” into her DMs to their big fat Chopra Jonas wedding festivities and the infinite trains.
I loved all the anecdotes about her parents – especially the one when her father painstakingly wrote and re-wrote the words for her tattoo even when he was unable to hold a pen in his hands.
The stories about her parents’ days in the Army & her own experiences as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador were heartening.
Priyanka Chopra has always been an inspiration for me, and will continue to be, because, she’s not quite “finished” yet!!