Monday morning turned out to be exceptionally bright and beautiful for actor Priyanka Chopra in Montreal when she woke up to the news of the government naming her for the Padma Shri, India'sfourth highest civilian honour.
"What a fabulous January to begin my year with," Priyanka told IANS over phone from Montreal, where she has been living to fulfill her shooting commitments for American TV show Quantico.
Also read: Rajinikanth, Priyanka Chopra, Ajay Devgn to be honoured with Padma Awards 2016
"I'm a daughter of an Army man, and so the feeling to get this civilian award is extremely special," she added.
Her father, the late Lt. Col. Ashok Chopra was a doctor and had retired from the Indian Army in 1997. Priyanka was extremely close to him and even sports a 'Daddy's lil girl' tattoo on her wrist.
"I am so happy... My mother woke me up with this wonderful news, and we've had a little celebration here," said the National Award winning actress, adding that her mother had joined her in Montreal earlier this month ahead of the People's Choice Awards where Priyanka became the first South Asian actress to win an honour.
She took home the Favourite Actress in A New TV Series award for her American acting debut as FBI agent Alex Parish.
Asked what sets the Padma Shri honour from the past awards that she has won, Priyanka gushed: "It's the Padma Shri, man!"
"It's shocking," she added in a tone that reflected the sheer joy of the global celebrity, who has roots in Bareilly, a mid-sized Indian town of Uttar Pradesh.
Her success story started with the Miss World crown victory in 2000, after which she joined Bollywood. She has featured in films like Andaaz, Aitraaz, Krrish, Fashion, Mary Kom, Barfi! and Bajirao Mastani -- regaling movie buffs with a variety of roles.
Priyanka also sings. She forayed into the international arena first with her single In my city in 2012, and then went on to collaborate with American rapper Pitbull for Exotic in 2013. It turned out that it opened more gates for her on global shores.