Priya Malik used to be a a teacher in Australia before she participated and made her mark globally on Big Brother, soon after which she was a part of the Big Boss ensemble in India. Her charming personality and controversial views got her noticed and she wisely embraced the limelight. Priya used her new found fame to give voice to her many opinions on issues ranging from slut shaming, sexism, male gaze, rape culture, her own accent, body positivity and so on. She boldly addressed subjects that most influencers and celebrities shy away from. An artist at heart, Priya has a magical way with words guaranteed to mesmerise you. Her recent stint as a vamp in a tele-series Nazar, her saucy news anchoring on Uncensored News With Priya along with many viral youtube videos of her spoken word performances showcase the multiple talents of this brilliantly badass woman.
In this exclusive interview with BeBadass the powerhouse discusses life lessons, her secret to confidence, views on depression and privacy, hints about her upcoming book and much more.
What did you learn about yourself as a teacher?
That it brings out the best in me and constantly pushes me to learn more.
The best teachers are those who are also perpetual students and I love to learn.
Life lessons learnt from Big Boss & Big Brother?
More than learning who you are, you get to learn who you are not and can never be. And that's what both of these shows taught me.
Any career mistakes you regret so far?
I wouldn't call them mistakes, they were experiences, some pleasant, some not so pleasant but they all came with a lesson and I'm grateful for that.
Some work was for the stomach, some for the soul, and some served both purposes, and that's the best kind of work.
Do you think soul searching is overrated?
Not at all. Knowing yourself is the greatest insight, it's a relentless pursuit.
What requires more courage, raising your voice or staying quiet?
Being able to choose for yourself whether it is choosing to raise your voice or choosing to stay quiet is the key.
Although, from personal experience, raising voice is always more self satisfying for the soul and hence, recommended.
If someday your words got you in trouble, would you take them back?
I have no qualms in understanding and accepting my mistakes.
Are you content & happy, now that you are feeding your soul & stomach from the same plate?
Yes and yes. This the most content I've ever been.
Although there's still room to stay hungry, both for the soul and the stomach.
You have opened up to the world twice over. Do you think people understand you better now?
I've evolved both physically, mentally and emotionally a few times over since I became a public figure. Evolvement involves elimination and that's always an ongoing process
Do you believe that each of us have a purpose in life? If yes, what is yours?
Yes, the biggest purpose is to find your purpose (s) and once you find it/them, spend the rest of your life fulfilling it/them.
I find real happiness in two things :
1. Using my creative energy to create
2. Acts of service .
I'm trying to fulfil these purposes right now to the best of my ability
You say you have always been a rebel. Was your rebellion with, or without a cause?
Honestly, now when I look back at it , I realise that while battling with the evils of the world, I was battling with myself too... I was always at war. And isn't that true for most rebels?
Now I pick my battles with the world and am at peace with myself.
In the age of social media and public lives, where does privacy stand for you?
Privacy is paramount to me now. I hardly ever share my personal life over social media nowadays simply because I don't feel like I owe it to anyone. I used to live a lot more publicly up until a few years ago, I have receded. Just because I felt like it. As public figures, we're expected to overshare, I don't think that's justifiable.
You seem very confident on stage. Do you ever get jitters or stage fright? If yes, how do you tackle it?
Oh God, as women we've really learnt to fake it (unfortunately!) 😂
I am a nervous wreck on stage and all the confidence comes from trying to hide it. In saying that ,I also feel very calm on stage (fulfilling my creative purpose there) but the nerves are always there. In fact, I do better when I'm a little nervous.
Over confidence erases vulnerability, vulnerability is a super power of an artist
You’ve talked about your depression in the past. How do you deal with those depressive waves?
By being aware of its existence and acknowledging it. My depression seems to come and go in waves and often there's no reasoning behind it. I have learnt to use that force creatively. I withdraw from the world and live in my head during those phases and often end up producing good work or no work at all, depending on my mental space. But yes, acknowledging it and identifying patterns has really helped
You mentioned once, it isn’t about money anymore for you. What are you working towards now?
Money is still important for necessities and comforts but I don't crave material luxury anymore. In fact a part of me never did, that part has grown bigger and redefined happiness for me
Tell us something about your upcoming book with Harper Collins & your screenplay.
It's still a work in progress.
I want to celebrate human imperfection in this book. My protagonist is flawed and she makes wrong decisions, careless and hasty judgements. She's also battling depressive issues while being a high achieving columnist. She's us. All of us. And she loves sex.
But most importantly, she's learning to love herself and grow as a human being.
If you could trade lives with one woman (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
I've always been drawn to her due to her struggle with struggles, her innate love with Diego, her pride in her heritage, her passionate love affair with art (she once arrived at an art gallery in an ambulance), her rejection of societal labels including gender roles and body positivity, her political awareness and her exploration of what it means to be a woman and just in general to be able to walk in her shoes and feel exactly where it all pinches and what makes one still walk miles in them
Who is a Badass woman in your opinion?
A badass woman is a woman who doesn't feel the need to prove her goodass to anyone.
Name a few badass women who inspire you.
Frida Kahlo, Arundhati Roy, Amrita Pritam, Margaret Atwood. The list is endless.
Your advice to rebellious young girls who are still figuring out who they are and what they want.
Keep finding your voice and don't let anyone else tell your story.