In conversation with Priya Raina

There is no dearth of talent in Jammu and Kashmir. We have made our place in every field from sports to cinema to arts. There is brimming talent in the city, which just needs to be tapped and shown the right direction and correct path. Today we have with us the very bubbly and talented Priya Raina, who is slowly making her way to becoming a successful actresses in the tinsel town. She has starred in India's Got Talent, Comedy Circus and many television serials. Apart from this she also starred with Aishwarya Rai in a commercial and has an upcoming movie! We chatted with her and this is what she had to say to our questions.

Tell us how it was growing up in J&K and memories that you carry from here?
Though it's a 1 line short question but answer to it can be long narrative but will still try to be precise. Belonging to that generation of Kashmiri Pandits which experienced Migration at an early childhood/ infanthood in itself tells many stories. Being raised in Jammu has incorporated many great and deep things in me. Sense of Importance of academics, value of family, happiness in small things and many more. And about memories, hahh.. From KV Gandhi Nagar to Women College Gandhi Nagar to University of Jammu to 92.7 BIG FM it's been a beautiful procession of them. 

My proclivity for arts in this city and all the wonderful people around me added Colours and life to them. No market in the world is as happening as Parade market. No travel in the world can be as exciting as scooty rides from Jammu to Sidra, Jajarkotli, Nandini (not to forget it's amazing Paneer pakoras). No feast in the world can be as toothsome as Kashmiri Dumaloos, Fish and Roganjosh prepared by my Grandma. No chit-chat can be as satisfying as the gossips in the university campus among the loveliest n prettiest girls. Haha.

What inspired you to be an actress?
I think it has always been there in me.  Then during college days it got an outlet with participation in youth fests on Zonal and National levels and getting associated with local theatre groups in Jammu.

How difficult was it to follow a path that is so unconventional?
To get a breakthrough isn't that difficult but to sustain and be consistent and above everything to convince your people to accept what you've chosen. India's Got Talent and Comedy Circus got people noticing me, talk about me but that was not what I wanted to be known for. Mimicry happened to me, may be as first ladder to enter industry. And of course I love to make people laugh but want to be known as a good Actor/performer. And thankfully I got good projects, some current and some upcoming which have that gravity and now I am known as an actress.  Though I am also active as a voice Artist in commercial industry/ dubbing industry. Recently dubbed for Lauren in 'Welcome to Karachi'.

Did you ever face any prejudice from people regarding the state (J&K) you come from?
Well, that happens with everyone who aspire something unconventional. I just shut my ears and do my work. Hard work pays back and gives all the answers.

Tell us one thing you love the most about acting?
Being able to get into the correct zone and mood of the character and do justice to it. And yes, more you are famous more you get paid (that's the best part).

In Indian cinema an actress is bound to show case dancing at some point. Do you enjoy dancing?
I love dancing the most. That's my forte. I think I am a better dancer than an actress or anything else. Will showcase someday in some show in future.

Tell us about your dream role.
I don't dream about roles now. The Best role for me will find its way to me. But I'd loved Meenakshi Sheshadri's in Damini and Vidya Balan's Character in Kahaani.

Actor/Actresses that you would love to work with?
Mr. Amitabh Bachhan, Govinda (though done an act with him in Comedy Circus but may be a film in future) and Juhi Chawla

What has been by far the most memorable experience in this field?
My audition for India's Got Talent has been the most memorable one though (with the Filmy struggle to reach there associated) but recently loved Working with Hema ji for an upcoming film and Aishwarya Rai for a Commercial a year back.

If not an actress what would you have been?
I think then I would've invested all my energies into Music and would have made it or would have been on the path of making it as a playback Singer. Not possible to do many things at one time and do justice to everything. I still manage to sing background scores and for animations sometimes.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
If you had asked me this question 3-4 years back I would have given you a long wish-list. But now I am going with the flow and have become easy with my ambitions (only putting in more efforts than I think I can). God has better plans than ours. So I am more curious for his surprises than my aspirations.

Your words of wisdom for the aspiring actors and actresses in Jammu?
I think I've said enough "words of wisdom" above. Isse zyada gyaan, Gyaan lagta hai. (Wink) haha. 

I would only suggest my Jammu girls and boys that Know yourself first and then invest yourself wholeheartedly in what you believe you can do, not in what you think you can also do. Aspiration needs Passion and hardwork, then spine stays straight and strong. Push yourself harder from the point when you think you should give up.

Rapid Fire
1. Your favourite designers? My ownself. Haha. I don't follow fashion. Being a true Scorpio I think I only know what suits me best so style my wardrobe myself.
2. An item of clothing you can't live without? I think I am fond of stoles and shrugs. I've plenty of them.
3. The first thing you do in the morning? Rub my eyes and sneeze
4. The last thing you do at night? Close my eyes and snore.. Haha
5. The last movie you watched? Tanu weds Manu 2 and loved it
6. Favourite food? Well these days I only have health food which of course can never be anyone's favorite. But would love to have Fish prepared in Kashmiri style someday soon
7. Favourite co-star? Haven't worked with yet.
8. Who would be rate the top 3 best actor and actresses we have today?

Irfan Khan
Amir Khan 
Akshay Kumar ( though I am more an Akshay fan)

Vidya Balan

9. Favourite movie? Chupke Chupke.

10. An actor you'd like to go on a date with? John Abraham.

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