‘He makes me laugh'
I'm the oldest of three children. My brother Vinaayak is almost five years younger. My sister and I used to make him wear old frocks and think of him as our little sister. Now that he is all grown up, we have a new relationship. I usually end up taking care of him more — more than a friend would. But we talk about everything. He still hasn't got married as yet. So I talk about marriage and life after marriage, what you can expect from it. I tried to tell him about my experience of being a family woman. He is someone who always makes me laugh. He is very outgoing and we have a good time talking to each other. We meet up for one holiday a year. He is very fond of my kids because he is their only mama (maternal uncle). He plays a police officer in our new film, Uppi 2. When he was a kid, he always wanted to be a police officer and used to act like one. I was recently joking with him, saying,'When you were a kid, you wanted to be a police officer, see I made you a CBI sleuth.' Since he is an actor, we have gone for shows together to Calcutta. There was one show, which happened on the outskirts of the city, and we got stuck for 10 hours in a traffic jam. But he made sure I had a a good time. He helped us find a rest room at 3 am then.
— Priyanka on Vinaayak
'Blessed to have loving siblings'
I am really blessed to have two sisters, Shruthi, who's a well-known actor, and Usha. We all grew up together, so I can say I have two wonderful friends. I can share anything under the sun with them. But we hardly discuss career or politics at home, and definitely not intensely. Shruthi is my senior in acting; she is a seasoned actress with over 100 films to her credit. She gives me tips, which I take seriously. Especially when Smt Jayalalitha was in the making, I used to call her frequently. We have stood by each other, and have faced the toughest of situations together. That is the strength of our family -- our bonding which helps us overcome our difficulties.
— Sharan on Shruthi
‘He is my friend and my enemy'
Girls are always lucky to have an elder brother at home. Especially, when they're young and can't go out too much, it's the brother who connects you to the world outside. We could go out when he accompanied us. There is no fatherly affection between brother and sisters. He is my friend and my enemy. When we were young, he used to hit me and played pranks on me. Most of the time, I used to carry his schoolbag for him; he used to order me to. I'd carry it on my head; it was that heavy. The moment we got near the house, he used to take it away because he knew my parents would scold him for making me carry it.
He was a dada and acted like one. Whenever he bunked classes, and when I'd see him escaping from the classroom window, I had to silently get out of my class room and follow him. I had to sit with him till he finished playing with his friends. We've fought so much during our younger days, and today, we don't necessarily speak every day. But I have always shared my personal and professional life with him. He is my friend more than a brother. I am senior to him only when it comes to acting, but otherwise he is a senior in every way.
— Shruthi on Sharan
‘She is an all-rounder’
Priyanka and I share a good rapport. We have a professional connection and bond well otherwise as well. She discusses films with me and I discuss acting with her. I have grown up learning to act by watching her films. I used to always go with her to the sets. I watched her face the camera and that helped me in my career. She is the eldest daughter and after our mother passed on, I became her responsibility. Apsara, my other sister, and I look up to her. Even now, she supports me morally, professionally and personally. After marriage, she has taken on the responsibilities of a family woman. It has made her more mature as an individual. Now, in my eyes, she is an all rounder.
— Vinaayak on Priyanka Upendra
‘We jam together’
My sister is almost 13 years older to me, so has been like a mother figure. But with time, I guess, the age gap has kind of melted. It is just as much fun to talk to her as it is reassuring to have her around for support and advice. It is no longer an elder sister-younger brother equation because that can sometimes impede communication...now we can talk about anything from career to life questions. And it is a great feeling to be able to jam with someone who also happens to be your family.Her daughter is now almost as old as I was when I began my career in radio and theatre...and it seems unreal that this is how young I was when I began my journey.
— Cyrus Sahukar on his sister Preeti Philip
‘She is a friend, philosopher and guide’
My sister (film editor and writer Irene Dhar Malik) has been one of the strongest influences in my life, a huge inspiration and a tireless supporter of all my dreams. When I was making My Brother Nikhil, I visualised Anu (the part played by Juhi Chawla) as Irene and how she would have behaved if I was going through what Nikhil was experiencing. I always wanted to be a film-maker but she paved the way when she joined FTII, became an editor and exposed me to great, international cinema and till date her approval means the world to me.
— Onir on his sister Irene Dhar Malik