It has taken Bollywood supernova Deepika Padukone time to learn how to take compliments on the chin. “It has taken me a while to get here,” she agrees. “But now I am very clear about who I am.” Her shyness, for example, was a permanent Achilles’ heel: “I would try and overcompensate for it and it would make me feel strained and weird, and it carried into my work too. Today, I am still extremely socially awkward. The only difference is that I have accepted myself. There is a confidence and a strength that has arrived.”
I am preparing to move onto a round of banal-yet-popular questions: “Deepika, what’s your favouri—” when she interrupts me. “I think what has changed is… I’m no longer afraid to fail. I’m not scared any more, you know?” Deepika Padukone falls silent again for a few seconds and then says, “Yeah, that’s it, I’m not scared.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d buy that slogan tee.
Micro neoprene gown, Rs 90,000, Gaurav Gupta. Gold-plated brass earrings, Rs 3,250, Eina Ahluwalia.
Photograph: Prasad Naik