It seems unlikely that Priyanka would at any point in her life want to end her life. I got to know her when she was still seeing Aseem Merchant. Her days were filled with
excitement. In the morning she would be off to Kathak classes. That’s when she would call me for long chats about the way her career was going…or rather, the way she would want it to go.
Priyanka Chopra struck me as very ambitious even then. She was very keen to be cast in J.P Dutta’s Umrao Jaan and had asked me to put in a word, as I was very close to JP (still am). Back
then it was her father who would look after her career. When JP changed his mind overnight and signed Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka was heartbroken.
More than Priyanka Chopra, her dad was baffled and unwilling to accept the betrayal. “He had signed her! What wrong have we done?” the affable Mr Chopra kept saying.
I had no answer.
Priyanka soon got over Umrao Jaan (and we even joked about its ultimate box office outcome, off the record). She had much better things happening to her. All ‘A’ stuff like Andaaz and
Aetraaz, both with Akshay Kumar in the lead. The two films spun Priyanka’s career out of the wannabes’ orbit into the stratosphere of the happening stars.
Stardom had arrived. We met every time I was in Mumbai. But there were changes. This is bound to be. You can’t really expect the Priyanka Chopra from the Bluff Master days to be the same as
Priyanka Chopra of the Aetraaz days. If you do, you are delusional. In the journey of life you grow and you drift apart from the people who help to form your personality.
Is Prakash Jaju telling the truth about her suicide attempts? Even if she did contemplate taking her life, what is so remarkable about it? She was young, and emotional. She felt stupefied by life
whenever it got crazier than she could handle. So maybe she did think of suicide, or more likely, just talk about attempting it the same way that some youngsters talk of death as being ‘sexy’.
It’s part of the process of growing up.
Prakash Jaju was one of the early architects of her career whom she left behind. So was Aseem Mechant her first boyfriend about whom she giggled each time we spoke. Oh, the joy of pehla
pyar. Aseem has moved on. Jaju has not. He wants to remind Priyanka of the time when her career was being constructed by people like Jaju.
It’s an absurd glory-recall, raking up matters regarding an individual’s early years of struggle in the bid to awaken their attention, if not compassion. But Priyanka Chopra has moved very far away
from where Prakash Jaju stands.
It was therefore heart-breaking to hear Priyanka’s mother abusing Jaju on Twitter. Stars evolve. Their families are not always able to keep pace.