By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Being a star at 23 is not easy. Deepika has no friends in Mumbai. And she doesn't have any qualms in admitting it.
So busy is the stunning actress that she went off for the North American and London premieres of Chandni Chowk To China just when her sister Anisha was playing at a National Golf Tournament in Pune.
"Yes Anisha who's five years younger to me and the baby of the family was playing in Pune just when I left for my premieres. I'd have definitely liked to watch her," says Deepika wistfully. "But then maybe having family around to watch her play would make her self-conscious. She needs to find her own identity away from the family cocoon. And for that we need to leave her alone to swim in the waters and face the storms. So in a way it was good that I wasn't around when she played."
Deepika has been traveling unchaperoned all through the year. "Both me and my sister have been taught to be self dependent. I am 23 and very proud of it. I'm young and raring to go. Age has nothing to do with maturity. I started traveling alone at a very young age (12) as a badminton player. That made feel responsible from a very young age. I learnt to travel in a team share dormitories and bathrooms. You could say I've roughed it out. My parents made sure my sister and I were brought up with normal working class values."
She says she isn't into celebrations. "I've never been the partying type. I'm not much into celebrations ever since I moved to Mumbai to become an actress. I don't have any friends to call over. Earlier when I was in Bangalore I used to call all my friends over for my birthday and then take them bowling or to watch a movie..."
She trails off. "Now all my free days are spent with my family. My entire family comes down from Bangalore to Mumbai for my birthday every year. It becomes a family reunion time. They came to visit me around my birthday. My Dad, mom and sister were here. We also paid a visit to Tirupathi."
And now Deepika travelled all across the US, Toronto and London, all on her own.
"Why do you say that?" she shoots back. "I had the Chandni Chowk To China team with me. We were hopping from city to city. The only sleep I got was on flight."