Priyanka spreads cheer

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By JAYESH THAKER in Jamshedpur
  • Published 5.12.02

Jamshedpur, Dec. 5: A running nose and headache did not deter former Miss World Priyanka Chopra from enjoying her day out with children and elders in the city today.

She revelled in their company and became emotional watching a visually-impaired girl play with her bangles at Cheshire Home.

Dazzling in a red saree, Priyanka along with her mother and maternal grandfather visited Cheshire Home in Sundernagar and Carmel Junior College in Sonari this morning.

Her day started with a short visit to Cheshire Home. The children had been waiting for her since early morning, and when she finally reached, they went berserk.

Seema Sinha, 27, who is blind since birth, ran her fingers over Priyanka’s bangles and squealed with joy each time they made a tingling sound. A tearful Priyanka handed over a bangle to Seema.

Other inmates Joyna, Pushpi, Mindi and Sukandi coaxed Priyanka to dance but she declined much to their disappointment.

Priyanka’s next stop was Carmel Junior College. The children there were waiting with bated breath and as the former beauty queen entered the packed school auditorium, a loud cheer reverberated through the hall.

A beaming Sister Flavian, principal of the school, announced that Priyanka's mother, Madhu Malti, was her student at Sacred Heart Convent.

“So sweet,” Priyanka whispered into Sister Flavian’s ears as a little girl read out a brief welcome speech, which was followed by a dance programme.

The audience mostly comprised senior citizens as the school was observing Grandparents Day today.

While the children performed on stage, their parents and grandparents made a beeline for Priyanka with autograph books in their hands.

At the end of the programme, Priyanka asked the children: “What is so good about your school?” Pat came the answer in a chorus: “Our principal and our teachers.”

“What do you enjoy most in your school?” asked Priyanka. “Studies,” the children yelled. “Yeh jhoot hai (That is a lie),” said the former beauty queen.

She also had some words of wisdom for the children. “Enjoy your days in school and try to score high marks. Never leave without completing your schooling,” she said.

The children mobbed her for autographs. Priyanka mingled freely with them much to their joy.

While returning, her car stopped at a medicine stop where Priyanka popped a pill to keep going for the rest of the day.

At a press conference in the evening, Priyanka said she had a wonderful time in the city. “I love Jamshedpur. It has developed into a nice city,” she said.

Asked about life as a former Miss World, she said: “Though I am a Miss World, at heart I am still Miss India.”

Regarding her career in films, Priyanka said she was trying to get a foothold in Bollywood. “I firmly believe in destiny. I did some theatre in my school days. I am still learning the nuances of acting at Kishore Namit’s acting school in Mumbai. I am also learning Kathak,” she said.