Note: The views expressed in this article are those solely of the writer of this opinion piece and do not reflect the views and opinions of the BollySpice.com team as a whole.
Bubbly, bold and beautiful; mix these three charming qualities together and you get the ever loving Preity Zinta. Even though this Shimlaite is trying to lose the bubbly tag, we can all agree that the tag is branded on her because of her high-spirited and cheerful attitude but surely there is more to Preity. Described by many as the only man in the Bollywood film industry, Preity Zinta started off her career with Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se co-starring Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala. I still clearly remember the summer of 1998 when I saw Dil Se for the first time. It was at a family friend’s house and the movie was playing in the background and being an avid SRK fan at the time, I was glued to the television screen. The movie itself did not captivate me much, at the time, due to its mature subject matter but nevertheless, I sat through it all especially after Preity’s entrance. Preity’s presence in the movie brightened up the screen instantly and this is the very quality of the actress that I simply adore. Preity’s exuberant charm is exactly what the movie needed to balance out the serious undertone of the narrative. The same year Preity took home the Filmfare Best Newcomer Award for her work in Dil Se, as she rightly deserved.
After having a dream debut with artists like Mani Ratnam and Shahrukh Khan, there was no looking back for the pretty actress. Following her first break, Preity managed to work with the best of the best in the industry and along with it delivered some great performances every year since then. Preity’s choice in films showed diversity and allowed her to depict various different characters from a young single mother in Kya Kehna to a headstrong Muslim journalist in Mission Kashmir to a prostitute in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. Recently her depiction of an angry young woman in Kal Ho Na Ho bagged the actress her first Filmfare Best Actress Award. Preity’s choice in movies has been both appreciated and criticized as they have always brought up controversial issues. Movies like Kya Kehna brought the issue of pre-marital pregnancy in front of a greater audience and described a woman’s perspective into a situation where they are the first to be blamed. In Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna she portrayed a strong, working parent and wife whose husband ventures into an extra-marital affair. In Salaam Namaste they tackled the issue of a live-in relationship. By being associated with movies with such touchy and debatable issues, Preity wishes to play a part, no matter how big or small, in educating and giving awareness to the audiences of the reality that we live in today. Preity Zinta is not your average actress who entered Bollywood for the love of acting, or for fame and money but she is an actress with a mission to empower the women of the 21st century in whatever way and whichever she can. Preity has been quoted in various interviews about her interest in doing strong woman orientated roles that does not degrade the female gender instead shows respect for them and this has been an ongoing factor she keeps in mind while selecting a script. This is yet another wonderful quality that makes me appreciate her even more. It is nice to know that there are actresses in this industry, such as Preity, who wants to do more in her movies than just dancing around in their bare minimums.
Moving now from the professional front to the personal side of Preity Zinta, and the woman impresses even more. A daughter who is making her parents proud, a sister who is supporting her siblings every step of the way and friend who offers a helping hand when needed, Preity Zinta does it all with ease even while balancing a successful career. One note of criticism that I always hear about Preity and one that annoys me to bits is that she is a talkative and opinionated woman (and that apparently is a bad thing nowadays). Preity is known to voice her honest opinion regarding current issues the world is facing and for this she is put down every step of the way. Mahatma Gandhi once said that you should “be the change you want to see in the world” and I think this perfectly fits Preity’s case. Just because she is playing her part in this change for a better world, she is criticized and this could either be because she is a woman or because she is an actress. No matter how much we tell ourselves otherwise, gender roles play a great part in our society till date. Many people in our community do not appreciate an outspoken woman because they are stereotyped to be quiet and shy people. Preity on the other hand is just the opposite; she does not tolerate any kind of misbehaviour against her. The lawsuit against the entertainment newspaper Mid-Day is the perfect example; it has been quite sometime since she has been fighting this case but regardless of the long, strenuous battle, Preity has not given up. Preity is also well-known for her part as a social worker as she has worked with underprivileged children, supported organizations such as Shiksha and been an active part of the Godfrey Philips Award Projects among various other things. I think it becomes quite difficult for an actress to take part in all these amazing social causes because there comes a point when the media is bound to question their intentions regarding their associations with charitable organizations. It becomes a question of whether they do it for fame, publicity, money, etc. The media is known to twists anything around just to get their juicy gossip for the day but I think this crosses a certain limit. They are actors/actresses by profession and they are given money to act on screen not in real life and I think it is extremely disrespectful to just assume they are putting up a fa