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No one is the decision maker in my life: Priyanka Chopra at Forbes Women's Summit 2018

The actress-producer was joined by PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and Moira Forbes to talk about fairytales, marriage and glass ceilings at the summit in the New York City. 

Shriram Iyengar

Trust actress-producer Priyanka Chopra to be good at compartmentalising. A week after the actress took a short trip to New Jersey with boyfriend Nick Jonas, she returned to the New York City to attend the Forbes' Women Summit 2018. 

Dressed in a sharp silver high neck dress, Chopra said that women should not let marriages define them. With her relationship status being in the news recently, Chopra said, "Because I’m in my 30s, which is obviously over the hill, my mother said to me, 'You’ll get married the day you find someone who appreciates how hard you worked to get where you are'." But the actress added that she will remain in control of her life. "No one is the decision maker in my life," she stated in no unclear terms. 

Even Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, joined in the chorus pointing out that when she told her mother that she would be joining Chopra on the panel, she was told, "Tell Priyanka to get married and settle down." 

While she laughed away, Chopra seems in no mood to do that. While writing on the recent marriage of her friend, Meghan Markle, with Prince Harry, Chopra had compared it to a 'fairytale'. However, on the panel, she asked why all fairytales end in marriage. "I loved fairy tales growing up.... but every fairytale ends when the princess gets married. What happens AFTER she gets married?" she quizzed. 

The Baywatch (2017) actress spoke about the risks and challenges of starting in the entertainment business at a young age, and how it has shaped her perspective of the world. "I started working when I was 17. My parents were physicians but they had no idea of entertainment. My dad just loved music, that's all. To navigate the world of entertainment, to navigate being a young girl, in the world of entertainment, now with all conversations that are happening... I was never entitled," she added, "I am an actor. I am from India. I have done over 50 movies. But I am also someone who is not defined by her ethnicity...I'd like to see where that takes me." 

In a conversation that touched on several topics including marriage, Chopra and Nooyi shared interesting perspectives of their success in America as outsiders. Nooyi left the crowds in splits when she revealed that she shared the very popular taste of binge-watching Sex And The City series. "Every episode had a lesson. The biggest takeaway was the sisterhood of these women," Nooyi emphasised. 

Chopra credited her parents for a more holistic upbringing. Repeating her father's advice, she said, "Why would you ever want to fit into a glass slipper that someone has made for you?” The actress added that it was her 'over-achieving' and progressive parents who pushed her to 'break the glass ceiling'. 

Following dreams with courage and conviction was a subject both the female panelists agreed on. While Nooyi stated, "No one gave me dressing instructions. I worried about how I was perceived. I was the only woman in the room and I already looked different." Chopra signed off saying, "We [women] are always told what we need to do. We should be able to decide what we want to do. That to me is feminism." 

The actress has already signed on for a book deal with Penguin Random House India, and will also be seen in Ali Abbas Zafar's Bharat, opposite Salman Khan.