When seven lucky Delhiites got a call from us early one morning last week, most answered the phone thinking it was some telemarketing campaign. It took six words — “You are going to meet Priyanka” — to have them wide awake and bursting with excitement.
Yes, Priyanka Chopra, the star columnist of HT City’s
Celeb and the City, expressed a keen desire to personally interact with some readers who have been sending their feedback on her weekly column.
“This is my way of proving to my fans that indeed it’s I who writes the column and reads the hundreds of letters they send me each week,” said Priyanka, looking gorgeous in a white jacket and jeans.
The meeting was at Dublin, the popular Irish pub at ITC Maurya, over sumptuous snacks and a choice of beverages. Priyanka greeted the fans with a warm “Hi”. And they, so eager to speak up until now, were speechless. “I can’t believe it’s you, sitting so close to me. I’m trembling,” said aspiring journalist Priyanka Sethi. “Hey, your name is Priyanka, we’re supposed to be tough,” said the star with a wink.
Puneet Wadhwa, a 26-year-old techie who couldn’t believe it was Priyanka’s personal email ID he’d been writing to, confessed that he had kept this meeting a secret from everyone as he wasn’t sure he would get to meet her.
Manish Gupta, a 30-year-old physically disabled guy who has been writing to Priyanka about the need for disabled-friendly infrastructure, offered to make a film with her, and Priyanka said an immediate yes! “Aap Mumbai aa jaaiyye, apne ghar mein keh deejiye main ja raha hoon,” she told him encouragingly.
Renu S Kalra, mother of six-year-old Karan, who is a die-hard fan of Priyanka, shared a concern: her son insists that she should wear hot pants like Priyanka did in Dostana. “Tell him this is Delhi, not Miami,” she replied laughing. Anu Arora, a homemaker from Noida, was floored — she “never thought Priyanka could be so thoughtful”. “Oh, it comes with the stereotype,” the actress smiled.
Deepti Bussi, a 24-year-old studying to be a chartered financial analyst, said she thought Priyanka wouldn’t have the time to read fan letters. “I thought an editor from HT was choosing them, but it’s so nice to know that you remember what we wrote.”
Industry consultant Ravi Vaidiswaran had some pearls of wisdom on what topics Priyanka could touch upon in her columns. As a gesture of thanks, Priyanka spoke to his wife on the phone, and we had another excited fan scream with joy at the other end.