What Priyanka Chopra’s Hollywood Success Means For Her Young Pakistani Fans Like Me

Posted by Sarmad Iqbal in Culture-Vulture
January 20, 2018

Yesterday, while I was on my way from my school to my house, my chauffeur turned on the FM and the song which was busting out loud was Bollywood diva Priyanka Chopra’s duet “Exotic” with the well-known American Rapper Pitbull. I was already astounded when I first listened to that song at a friend’s birthday party months ago on how “our” (South Asian) very own desi girl is now slaying everyone in the US.

This time, while listening to the same song in the car, I was again reminded of how Priyanka has made it big in Tinsel town and how she is conquering Hollywood with not just her possessing and alluring looks and great acting but also with her tremendous hard work and determination to secure a dignified place. Some of her critics and haters think that she might have made it big in Hollywood with all her links and contacts the same way they think she made it in Bollywood by allegedly once pursuing a love affair with Shahrukh Khan but I have never believed and have never espoused such rubbish about her and I think her hard work has manifested itself in her scintillating success and by thinking that she must have got some sort of shortcut to success is utterly fallacious and discouraging to a girl who has gone against all odds by making a journey of survival and self-determination from a small town in Uttar Pradesh, India (Bareilly) to Bollywood.

Source: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

I am just one of her uncountable fans from Pakistan and now one of the uncountable admirers of her Hollywood triumph. I am these days transitioning from being a high school student to a college student and at this time, along with me, most of my fellow high school transitioners ponder a lot that which occupation will suit us. Most of us are movie buffs and when we see Priyanka soaring high to the Hollywood after a triumphant Bollywood career we can’t stop ourselves from envisaging ourselves too as future superstars with uncountable fans like us. I have seen many of my batch’s girls aspiring to be the next Priyanka as the word Priyanka Chopra for them has almost become synonymous with stardom and with being the sweetheart of millions. Priyanka has shown us that Hollywood is not just white men’s property and a brown gal like her can make it big too.

In my car yesterday, I didn’t just ponder about Priyanka’s global success but I also decided to watch online some of her interviews, both to Americans and to Indians. I found some of her old and recent interviews including the one given to the “Vogue’s 73 Questions with Priyanka Chopra”.

After watching the Vogue one which didn’t shed much light on her past and struggles in Bollywood. It didn’t fascinate me much because it wasn’t able to gratify my yearning to acquaint myself with what a small town girl has been through before becoming not just a South Asian but also a global sensation who has made so many hearts flutter not just with her great acting but also with her ravishing looks.

I switched over to an old interview she gave in India to a Hindi program named “Yeh Hai Meri Kahani” on UTV stars India and I found that interview immensely enthralling as there she narrated about her career since the very beginning without any pretense despite the fact that she belongs to a very showy business full of pretense. That interview seemed more qareeb to my desi dil than the pardesi Vogue one.

Priyanka forthrightly told her fans about how initially she used to get scolded from dance directors for not dancing properly and she had a hard time initially conforming to the rules of a new world she had previously only seen in movies. Along with her, one of the directors of her early Bollywood movies told in the same interview that in her early days as she wasn’t a renowned actress and a novice to Bollywood, spot boys didn’t even bother to put forward a chair for her when she came early on the set of some movie, and when that director who was telling all this came he put forward a chair for her and told her that, “Today, no one put forward a chair for you but one day everyone will put forward not just one but many chairs for you.” That director foresaw a superstar in her and Priyanka has made his prophecy true now through her hard work and dedication to her work.

This shows how as Priyanka said“I believe destiny and hard work go hand in hand”. Even if stardom and success is being written in your destiny then you can’t get that unless you devote yourself fervently to your work and to your passion to actualize the great things written in your destiny. I hail Priyanka Chopra for becoming an inspiration for gals and guys alike across all borders by audaciously testing boundaries and attaining a lifetime’s worth so very young.

Whenever I become despondent about my life and everything pertaining to that in general, Priyanka’s zillion dollar rules of success (like believing in yourself regardless of how much elusive your path to success becomes with obstacles such as low self-esteem or lack of self-confidence), have always proved to be pivotal in healing me and bringing me out of some stressful tribulation. This small town girl from Bareilly has not just got her name on Time magazine’s 2016 list of world’s 100 most influential people but has also astounded everyone by winning the prestigious People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actress for her stellar performances as Alex Parrish in American TV series “Quantico”.


Featured image source: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures