Family day out for Priyanka

MUMBAI: Her nani, dadi, chacha, chachi, cousins, et al were part of the celebrations on her National Award win. In fact, even Priyanka Chopra’s best friends had come to the city for the ceremony. In a rare moment, we caught Priyanka Chopra in the midst of these people she feels closest to.

“The last time we all met like this extensively, was when I had won the Miss World title nine years ago. After that, it’s now that we are celebrating the National Award. This feeling is unparalleled,” said Priyanka, adding, “My family is quite extensive. Like if I get married, the poor groom would have to run away, it’s that extensive!”

Priyanka’s family means the world to her. “My khandhan and I am very close. I am very, very close to my cousins.” Does she meet them often? “Oh, my house toh is always full. My chacha keeps coming and going, my cousins keep coming and going,” she replied happily. “You know how typically Punjabi families are. We are exactly like that. For all my relatives, my masis etc, I always am the Priyanka I was. It hasn’t changed,” said PC.

Did they behave like typical Punjabis at the awards ceremony too? “Oh, it was great,” she said, adding, “I cried. It’s a very heavy medal. When I was going on stage, I was very nervous. I was afraid I’ll trip on my saree or trip over Madam President’s saree, or something would go wrong! I was so overwhelmed, there were tears in my eyes. It was quite cool. And I could only hear my family going ‘aaaaaaaaaaaa...’ They were screaming in such a proper protocol event! Three rows were just full of my family members; 30 of them. Wow. That was fantastic.”

The gang of friends with Priyanka kept her company all the while. She told us, “Kunal is a cousin I am very close to. Ridhima, I have known since I was in class four and she is one of my closest friends. Then there is Tamanna, my best friend, but she isn’t here, but she was there for the ceremony. Mubina was my co-producer in Kaminey and that’s when we became friends.”

Ridhima said that she’s become used to her friend’s celeb status, but finds it difficult to adjust to it at times when PC gets mobbed. She told us, “Being a celeb and the kind of person she is, I know she’ll always keep smiling.” She also revealed that both she and Priyanka would often ride a bicycle in the cantonment area (her father was in the defence services) after school.

The attachment between Priyanka and her pals was evident. Priyanka said, “After my family, my friends are my family. I don’t have a gazillion friends, especially from films. I have just 2-3 friends from movies who I can talk to.” And it’s only work which takes her away from them. At the moment, Vishal Bhardwaj’s next, in which she has seven husbands, and Don 2 keep her busy, but she’s not complaining. “I love this pace of life, this hectic schedule.” And is the cool gal nervous about the risks involved in the TV show, Fear Factor? “Nah, I’m very adventurous. I’ve done white water rafting, bungee jumping, sky diving, mountain climbing – I am a little on the quirky side. You see, fear is not a factor in my life.” Point noted, PC!