Interview: Priyanka Sinha Jha Shares The Supertraits Of Superstars

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Priyanka Sinha Jha is credited with being one of the youngest Editors of Indian Express. With a career spanning over 15 years, she has managed many roles across India’s leading publications like The Asian Age, Outlook Money, Society and Screen among others, covering art, entertainment and crime. She is well known for her interviews with Bollywood stars, which inadvertently happened to form the background of her first book, Supertraits of the Superstars.
priyanka Sinha Jha- picSupertraits of the Superstars, which is being launched tomorrow by the superstar of the century, Amitabh Bachchan,takes look at our Bollywood celebrities through a different lens than the usual. While most stars have been admired for their on screen karisma or romantic liasions and fashion faux pas, Priyanka shares with her readers the lesser know, inspirational side of these stars. I spoke to her about her journey, her inspirations, the city and more.
Readers can expect to get inspired by the stars who they mostly associate with frivolous news.
What inspired you to write this book?
A couple of things actually. The germ of this idea was sown in my mind when I came across a quote from the noted poet Shri Harivanshrai Bachchan on Mr Amitabh Bachchan’s blog “man ka ho to achcha, man ka na ho to aur achcha. (It’s good if your heart’s desires come true, even better, if they don’t.” It was said to quell the disappointment of his young son who due to illness was unable to perform in a school play. It set me thinking about how a superstar like Mr  Bachchan must have tackled the highs and lows of his life for him to arrive at his iconic superstardom. That was the starting point and then I thought that why not put together a book on all the superstars who had a quality that I personally, had been quite inspired by and qualities that could even inspire others.
Why did you choose to pick only Bollywood stars?
Personally, my life changed after reading Richard Bach’s Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. It compelled me to think that I could make my life better if I tried hard enough. Such books have always fascinated me. People perceive business heads, political leaders, sportsmen and inspiring but for some strange reason very often they don’t think that film stars can have qualities that go beyond being glamorous. Supertraits of Superstars is an attempt to draw attention to the admirable and inspirational traits in film personalities.
Supertraits of Superstars- Front coverWhy only 11? Who are the 11 superstars covered in the book?
I had planned to write on 10 Superstars but I wrote an extra chapter and sent it to the publishers to choose the 10 stars that they liked best, and they went ahead with all 11 so that’s the reason behind the mysterious 11.
What can readers expect to find about these stars in your book?
They can expect to get inspired by the stars who they mostly associate with frivolous news.
We have all heard about Amitabh’s discipline and Aamir’s perfectionism. Tell us three other stars and their traits that readers may not have heard of?
Shah Rukh Khan’s passion for all that he undertakes, John Abraham’s enterprise, Katrina Kaif’s perseverance among others.
If there is one story among the 11 that touched your heart more than the others, which one is it? Why?
They have each been inspirational for me under different circumstances but Mr Bachchan’s discipline, Shah Rukh Khan’s passion and Salman Khan’s generosity have been particularly impressive.
One supertrait you think you have would be?
Frankly, my supertraits are probably still in the formative stages but I would think that I have the ability to persevere.
One supertrait you wish you had or are working on developing?
Discipline, enterprise and perhaps diplomacy too.
Where can readers find copies of your books offline/online? Any events you will be hosting soon where readers can interact with you?
You can order the books on practically all sites like Flipkart, Infibeam, Amazon besides picking it up at Crossword, Landmark etc. 
At this point I am just focussing on the book launch by Mr Bachchan but I hope to have interactive sessions with readers in the months to come.
What’s next in the pipeline? Another book perhaps?
Yes, hopefully another book.
Since you are a Mumbaikar…
When did you move to Mumbai?
I was born in Patna, Bihar and spent a good part of my childhood there even though I studied in West Bengal, DPS, RK Puram, Delhi and Pune after that. I came to Mumbai in 1996 and stayed here over the years, have transformed into a loyal Mumbaikar.
One Supertrait of Mumbai you admire?
Mumbai doesn’t have just one Supertrait. In my opinion it is blessed with three Supertraits – resilience,  enterprise and compassion.
If you could change one thing about Mumbai what would it be?
The crumbling infrastructure and garbage.
If there is one thing you wish never changes about Mumbai, what is it?
The safety it provides to women. Especially, to working women.
Three favourite places in the city you love to spend time at…
Bandra, Marine Drive and by-lanes of Fort and Colaba.
Three places in Mumbai you want to visit but still haven’t…
The mangroves at Sewri where the Flamingos come, I still have to go angling at Powai lake or spend a weekend at Manori.
Three favourite places to dine at…
Mahesh Lunch Home, Samovar and Lemon Grass
Three Mumbaikars who inpire you…
Shobhaa De, Nari Hira, Amitabh Bachchan
Three favourite weekend getaways near Mumbai you enjoy…
Pune is a favourite getaway, Goa and now Alibaug too.
Here’s wishing the debutant author loads of luck.

Post By Garima Sharma (111 Posts)

Founding Editor at MumbaiMag, graffiti and street art lover, traveller, blogger and amateur photographer, slave to Thor, my Lab.


Garima Sharma

Garima Sharma
Founding Editor at MumbaiMag, graffiti and street art lover, traveller, blogger and amateur photographer, slave to Thor, my Lab.
  • Pratikshya Mishra

    i liked the book… of course it does a lot to alter one’s biased viewpoints about filmstars…