Priyanka Chopra’s Kerala connection has to do with her late maternal grandmother, Mary John. The actor recently posted a picture of her late grandmother’s birthday celebration when she was six years old. The picture also has her brother and mother beside her. Mary John, whom PC called ‘Nani’ growing up, was from Kumarakom, in the Kottayam district in Kerala. She was a huge influence on Priyanka Chopra’s upbringing.
In the post dedicated to her Nani, Priyanka shared, “She helped raise me while my mom and dad balanced studying and medical careers. She was a hugely consistent part of my upbringing.” Mary John changed her name to Madhu Jyotsna Akhouri after marrying Dr MK Akhouri, who was known to be a well-known leader in Bihar.
In 2016, the grandmother’s funeral was held at a church in Ponkunnam, Kottayam. It was her dying wish to be buried at the St John’s Attamangalam Church in Kumarakom. But the church authorities denied the wish stating that she married a Hindu. She couldn’t have joined the Church, but since she died a Hindu, burial within St John’s Attamangalam Church wasn’t an option, as claimed by the authorities. Under these circumstances, the funeral was conducted at St Thomas Jacobite Church at Ponkunnam.
After her death, Priyanka Chopra released a statement saying, “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mrs Madhu Jyotsna Akhouri, our beloved mother and grandmother. Freedom fighter, social activist, MLA, amongst other things. She was an amazing woman who lived a full life, filled with purpose and love. She left us in her sleep, surrounded by her family and loved ones. She will always be in our hearts. Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day,”
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Priyanka Chopra’s Kerala connection may be small, but it’s something that she holds close to her heart because of her grandmother. “I feel so lucky that I had so many strong maternal figures in my life. I’m so grateful for you all. Miss you always Nani,” added Priyanka Chopra on her birth anniversary.
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