My Dad Taught Me To Drive At 13: Priyanka Chopra Remembers Dr. Ashok Chopra


MUMBAI: Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra’s father, Dr. Ashok Chopra passed away on 10 June 2013. It is definitely a tough time for Priyanka Chopra who was very close to her father. She called herself ‘Daddy’s li’l girl’, something she made known to the world through her Twitter account.

Priyanka Chopra also proudly proclaimed that she was daddy’s girl through a tattoo that she got for herself on her right wrist.

Dr. Ashok Chopra was battling cancer, and Priyanka Chopra always stood by his side, cancelling her shoots in these last few days. It reminded us of the times when Priyanka Chopra always wanted her father by her side. She recently took along her father onstage for the Filmfare awards when she won Best Actress for her role in ‘Barfi!’

Priyanka Chopra owns her recent foray into singing to her father as well. Her main influence was her father, whom she called “an incredible singer”. Priyanka Chopra had launched her father’s albums of shabads called ‘Haal Muriddan Da Kehna’, where she said she was a “proud daughter”. The ‘Barfi’ actress had shared, “My dad sings, though not professionally. I’m a big fan of my father’s singing. I love singing. Ever since I was a child, I dreamt of getting in a white gown to sing on stage like Whitney Houston. I’ve been trained in Western classical singing. I used to sing soprano in a choir. One of my earliest memories — when I was three — is of my dad on stage looking at me and singing. If he didn’t look at me while singing I’d get extremely miffed. Sometimes he used to call me on the stage to sing an African song that I knew.”

At the same event, the ‘Save the Girl Child’ campaign was launched, where Priyanka Chopra said, “What if I was unwanted by my parents? I wouldn’t be here at all – my achievements would be nothing. I think it is time people start having the belief that a girl can be as much successful if not more than a boy. A girl is as precious as any boy.”

Recalling her earliest memories of her father Priyanka said in an interview. “My dad taught me to drive at 13 when he’d take me to school. I was very scared of driving… My dad used to be a doctor in the army until he took voluntary retirement in 1997. He’ s a trained artiste, painter and singer. He used to be called  the singing surgeon. He used to do shows for the army.”

When Priyanka decided to participate in the Miss India contest she  was apprehensive of her father’s reaction. “We come from a very conservative family. All this glamour and showbiz was very new to my dad. It was my mom who told him about my plans… I wasn’t willing to talk to him about it. Initially, he wasn’t convinced. But my mom and I reasoned that it was just a holiday in Mumbai and that I didn’t stand a chance in hell of winning…. Dad has always been super-encouraging. We bought a house and started a  clinic for mom and dad. They became practicing doctors again. He later joined Leelavati as managing director.”

We hope that Priyanka Chopra and her family find courage in these days of adversity and wish for the best for Daddy’s Li’l Girl.