Priyanka's story

“My parents were doctors in the army, so we moved around a lot. One of the perks of having doctors as parents is that whenever you’re sick, they know what’s wrong, and more importantly, what needs to be done. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 5. It wasn’t a very big deal for me, as my parents normalized it at home. They taught me to use an inhaler and I just thought of it as a regular part of my life. If only it was that simple. More than dealing with asthma itself in school, I had to overcome the lack of awareness about asthma.

When I entered the film industry, I had to learn the ropes on my own… I learnt the craft on the job. It was difficult being an outsider in the industry with no prior acting experience, no one from my family or friend circle were in the business either, so I had to learn how the industry functioned by myself.

Asthma was challenging at work too, until I figured what my triggers were. Sometimes when I do stage shows, high energy dance moves, action sequences or when we’re shooting in dust, my asthma gets aggravated. For example, while shooting for Barfi, there was a scene where I had to sit in a truck full of hay, but I couldn’t let my asthma hinder it. I didn’t let it control me. I used my inhaler and carried on with the shoot, by the way the first inhaler I ever used was a Cipla inhaler.

I always just kept going.  

My family kept encouraging me. They were always by my side, no matter what. And I was very clear on what I wanted to achieve and where I wanted to be. Something like asthma couldn’t get in the way of that.

Experience has taught me to celebrate the wins and learn from my failures. My journey of actualizing my dreams and ambitions continues – I’m not concerned about ‘arriving’ at a destination anymore…. I just want to enjoy the journey.”

Credit: The Logical Indian