Priyanka Chopra won the Femina Miss India followed by Miss World at the age of 17 and 18 respectively and suddenly, her life took a significant turn. Winning these honours obviously was a huge high for her but immediately after these victories, her life went downhill due to a botched up surgery. Priyanka Chopra opens up about this part of her life in detail for the first time, in her recently released memoir ‘Unfinished’.
In summer 2001, Priyanka Chopra was in London when she began to suffer from a lingering head cold. She also had trouble breathing and being an asthma patient, she couldn’t ignore these scary symptoms. Her family friends recommended to her a doctor who said that a polyp in her nasal activity needs to be surgically removed. Priyanka says that “Polypectomy sounded like a pretty routine procedure”. Sadly, while shaving off the polyp, the doctor shaved off her nasal bridge as well. The bridge collapsed and it was discovered only when the bandages were removed. “Mom and I were horrified. My original nose was gone. My face looked completely different. I wasn’t me anymore,” she writes.
She adds, “I felt devastated and hopeless. Every time I looked in the mirror, a stranger looked back at me.” To add to her pain, the media found out and called her ‘Plastic Chopra’.
This was also the time when Priyanka Chopra had signed four films, three in Hindi and one in Tamil. But due to her nose bridge collapse, reports began to circulate that she looked different post-surgery. One producer dropped her unceremoniously from her project. The other project did a look test to see how her ‘new face’ would look on the big screen. He, too, decided to replace her.
Interestingly, ‘Unfinished’ consists of a picture of one of these films. It was titled Asar and Priyanka’s co-stars in this film were Ajay Devgn and legendary Dilip Kumar. The picture shows all three actors together during the mahurat of the film. As per a report, this mahurat shot was held at Royal Palms Golf Club, Goregaon. Saira Banu, Aruna Irani and director-producer Indra Kumar were also present. Asar was scheduled to be directed by Kuku Kohli and produced by Dinesh Patel. Interestingly, Kuku and Dinesh had also launched Ajay Devgn, in Phool Aur Kaante (1991). After Priyanka was dropped, the film got shelved due to unknown reasons. In ‘Unfinished’, Priyanka however doesn’t state if Asar’s producer was the one who directly dropped her or is the one who did so after taking her look test.
Meanwhile, the makers of Tamil film Thamizhan (2002) retained Priyanka Chopra and had no qualms about her looks. The fourth film in her kitty was The Hero - Love Story Of A Spy (2003), co-starring Sunny Deol. Priyanka reveals that after the surgery fiasco, director Anil Sharma didn’t drop her but changed her role to a supporting one. Anil promised her that she’ll make it to the posters as well! Priyanka writes about Anil Sharma, “A previous film of his, Gadar (2001), had broken all records in India. So keeping me on was a very kind thing to do, especially given that I was literally just starting out. His compassion and consideration meant the world to me and turned out to be a preview of the kind of thoughtfulness I would encounter from a number of individuals in Hindi cinema.”
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