Editor’s Note: Kashish Chopra is an amalgamation of many achievements: Miss Congeniality (at the Miss India USA pageant-2003), musically talented, MBA holder, law student and so much more. We’re pleased to feature her on GaysiFamily as a two-part interview where she speaks of her remarkable journey of coming out, her love for Priyanka Chopra and how she would love to be a listener while admitting she’s a tad too chatty. All this and more, as she speaks to Dhamini Ratnam.
Q. What are you doing at present – does activism play a role in your life?
I still live on the East coast of the USA and am finishing my Juris Doctor in law school here.
The South Asian LGBT community has so many absolutely amazing leaders across the world. Whether you are Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, etc., there are so many who work to change the perceptions of society and fight for our community. I see such a huge difference from the social messages I grew up with and surrounded me as a Miss India 8 years ago. I have never considered myself an activist and used to laugh when someone called me that. I think that we all possess the power to change the world around us through how we chose to live our lives every day. Our communities are a reflection of ourselves. So what better way to make a change than to live a life of unapologetic honesty and courage every day- the courage to just be who we are and follow what we know is right in our hearts.
There are two ways I can answer this: The ideal first date, or the general ideal date. I will try to cover both because they are different, but overlap.
My perfect date would start off, with someone taking the initiative to ask me out. The easy route to show off is going on a fancy date where you don’t get a real chance to connect with the other person. But what I would love is to just attend an event, gallery opening, or listen to live music somewhere, have drinks, dinner, and take a long walk together. I love taking long walks. My heart would melt if I could take a long walk with someone and listen to them talk on and on while I was genuinely interested in what they had to say. Ironically, I’m very talkative (I blame my loudmouth Punjabi genetics). Sometimes, I get nervous and find myself talking on and on forever. It is horrible (so I apologize to all the women who I have bored to death while out together! Especially, to a particular Gujju this last summer- sorry about that!). I would love to sit and have a conversation that would seem as if it had gone on for just 15 minutes, but had really lasted two hours and we didn’t realize how late it had gotten.
I am a complete foodie. I love the culinary arts. There is something about sharing a meal with someone that allows mere moments to transform into memories. My perfect date could involve us out at the best restaurant in town or having a picnic in the living room with the best spinach pizza in town. Great food paired with great drinks, in perfect company.
It is easy to plan the “perfect date,” but it is hard to have the perfect date. To me a perfect date isn’t about what we do but rather about how we do it. The best dates are the ones that organically plan and reveal themselves.
I have planned and been on of lot of dates that were meant to be “perfect” and usually everything that could possibly go wrong did. I’m pretty low maintenance but my perfect date is all about the feeling behind it and who it is with – not what the date is.
Q. On a lesbian cruise do you go single, solo or slutty?
Can I just go overboard? Haha, just joking! I would prefer to go sophisticated, sassy, and single. I don’t think I would want to go solo. If I am going to be trapped on a boat, I would want a few of my friends with me to make it a fun vacation, at least! If you are going on a trip, usually a person wants to share it with friends (even if people think it is a lesbian matrimonial meat market on water). If it were a singles’ cruise, I would still grab some of my single friends so we could all go together.
And for the record, I never go slutty.
Q. According to you the best dressed woman in Bollywood?
There are so many absolutely stylish and fashionable women in Bollywood. I think Kangna Ranaut is great because of how she can be quite bold at times. Priyanka Chopra always looks stunning and is a very magical combination of personal style, Bollywood, and glamour. Bipasha Bashu gets my attention quite a bit with her choices as well. I think Priyanka and Bipasha could be wearing paper bags and make them look amazing at any event.
Q. If you were the leading actress of a Lezzie rom-com Bollywood style, you would like to be paired with?
I am torn between an actress who I respect and an actress I just find attractive and would want to work with. I would love to be paired with Priyanka Chopra or Lisa Ray.
Sorry Deepika Padukone! Although the gay/lesbian version of Break Ke Baad or Love Aaj Kal would be a super hit, I had to choose others leading ladies!
Lisa Ray has already done some commendable lesbian themed movies (“I Can’t Think Straight” and “The World Unseen”) which have been great in showing a sense of culture and perspective (and a little fun). I think she is a talented and incredibly strong woman who would be great to work with (not to mention absolutely beautiful). I am a big Priyanka Chopra fan because she has the ability to take light hearted character twists and handle daring subject matters. You can’t go wrong with a Chopra! So how can you go wrong with two!!
Now that I think about it, Deepika would probably make for a great romantic comedy pairing for a crazy Punjabi woman such as myself. (Call me!)
Q. The “Indian” thing that gives you the shits….
Why are Bollywood films so long? As I get older I just can’t sit through a two and a half hour film that could easily have been done in 90 minutes. Sometimes less means more. Thank God for DVD players and the forward button. If you can’t do something original then at least don’t drag out the pain for over two hours. It isn’t necessary.
Also, I never understood Desi guys who message a random girl on social media and ask to “make friendship.” What is that? This isn’t desikiss.com or twomangos.com. So don’t add your matrimonial bio-data in a random Facebook message to someone you don’t know. Creepy messages are not charming. Public Service Announcement: Don’t be THAT Desi person! Sort of like how Desi people who own a CD player or MP3 Player automatically think they are an established “DJ.” No. You aren’t.
Kashish Chopra can be reached at : ChopraPhilly@gmail.com