It's not been an easy month for Priyanka Chopra. The onus of constant promotions and marketing of her new film has fallen solely on her shoulders and that has taken its toll on her nerves. Priyanka, say people close to her, has turned snappy.
Given her habitual savour-fair and characteristic composure, it came as a shock to know that the actress got into a heated verbal duel with a man in Delhi who was out to rattle her.
That he succeeded in doing so is indicative of how anxious and nervous Priyanka has become about holding on to the formidable position of being one of the few leading ladies today who can prop up a film on her shoulders. Also, it was her identity that was being repeatedly questioned.
The incident happened in Delhi on Tuesday (Feb 15) evening at the recording of a lengthy interactive interview in Delhi. A man, apparently from Punjab, piped in to accuse Priyanka of "not being a Punjabi".
Says a member of the actress's entourage, "Priyanka was taken aback by the accusation. At first, she laughed it off saying she is very much a Punjabi. But the man kept piping in loudly that she had done nothing for Punjab or Punjabis. Priyanka, finally, told him to shut up and quit."
The man disappeared from the venue soon after, but only after having spoilt the milieu and mood irreversible with his malevolent chauvinism.
Priyanka, known to be extremely warm to fans, was hurt by the vehemence of the accusation. The spokesperson for Saat Khoon Maaf confirmed the ugly incident.
"It was weird and inopportune, Priyanka's Punjabiyat had nothing to do with the occasion. We don't know where the man came from and where he disappeared. But the whole incident was suspicious," he said.
Priyanka's father is a Punjabi while her mother is from Jharkhand.
Priyanka spent her growing years in Rai Bareilly in UP. This is the first time her Punjabi antecedents were questioned, and that too in full public view. She is far from amused.