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A real believer, reel fantasy!

Priyanka Chopra is among the hot new stars on the firmament of Bollywood. AZIZ HAIDER speaks to the girl who claims to take things as they come... .

MEN BEWARE! Here comes a woman who considers them mere decoration pieces to be draped around the arm. This is a great awakening call to the not-so-fair sex, who treated women the same way only till sometime ago. There are some who still practice the same, smug in belief that they are following the style of their forefathers! But the woman who is giving food-for-thought to such men, jolting them out of their medieval conceptions, is none other than Ms. World-2000 Priyanka Chopra.

Men don't realise that women are far too smarter, she says. They think women are falling prey to whatever is being said, without realising that there is an alert working mind that is sizing them for everything that's being said.

Typical Cancerian, you would say! Yes, Priyanka has finally got out of her teens this July. Within this short span of 20 years, she has reached such a stage that it seems hard to believe that she may have just reached 20. A self-professed feminist, she does not like to deal with men who lie to her and who don't think beyond themselves. Praise her for her beauty or figure, and she won't like it. If you want to win her over as a friend, then you ought to be an intelligent, witty person who is interested in the world events and keeps an opinion about various issues across the world. However, she does not meet too many such men in her life.

What then about the life partner? "My man will be intelligent, witty and good- looking.'' But where is he? Not found him yet, says she. To be honest, she has not yet started the search. Has no time to do so in her present busy schedule.

Priyanka believes that she would never have to search for her man of choice. God will bring him to her, in due course. She has never believed in planning. She just takes things as they come to her. Modelling happened out of the blue, followed by the Ms. World-2000 crown, and then the subsequent deluge of film offers. At present, she is doing more than half a dozen movies in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil and it is a matter of time before she takes the silver screen by storm. The lady who grew up going to attend the children at the orphanage, Prem Niwas in Bareily each Diwali night, has never known tantrums. Despite all the fame and recognition, Priyanka continues to be a straightforward and simple girl. As she talks, sitting pretty in the light coloured salwar-kurta, in the cool comfort of her hotel room in Delhi, everything that she says and the gestures and movements that accompany them have an air of honesty about them. Instead of portraying herself as a lady whose achievements are far greater than her age, she remains a vivacious but simple young girl, somebody you are likely to come face-to-face with the next time you visit your neighbourhood market. Of course, the combination of youth, beauty and intelligence may be difficult to find.

She is a typical Cancerian who believes that several attributes of her personality and character are already listed in Linda Goodman's book on sun-signs. She is short- tempered and moody but doesn't allow this to interfere with work.

When she is in a good mood you can find her chirping on the sets of her movies. And when on the low, she would rather be reading a book or her dialogues than interacting with others.

With films like "Hum Bhee Khush Tum Bhee Khush", "Musafir Hoon Yaaron", "Gandhi", "Hero" and "Ek Haseena Ek..." ready to hit the screen, Priyanka is not worried. True to herself, she lives life as it comes. She never plans and everything, including the change in figure at the right places when she moved from modelling to movies, has been preordained. God has been kind to her always and will guide her even in future. Who needs to worry when there is such complete faith in the God?

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