When it comes to the Chopra clan, the three siblings — Parineeti Chopra and her brothers Shivang and Sahaj — are setting some major goals in personal life, as well as on social media. In fact, they admit that they have turned out to be the closest of friends, and Raksha Bandhan is a way to celebrate that bond. But Parineeti has one complaint for her brothers, and it is that she is still waiting for her first Rakhi gift.
“By virtue of our careers, we live in three separate cities of the world. Sahaj (30) lives in Delhi, I live in Bombay, and Shivang (29) lives in London. For years, we have never been together on Raksha Bandhan. But we have never missed the celebration ever,” says Parineeti (34).
On Raksha Bandhan, Parineeti in her first interview after her engagement, joins her brothers and they get candid about their evolving sibling bond, protective streaks and staying connected virtually.
What does Raksha Bandhan celebration look like at home?
Parineeti: I start planning their rakhis way in advance. If I am in the mood to send them gifts that year, I also plan much in advance. But it depends on their behaviour (laughs). I make sure that the rakhi reaches them. I must mention that they have never given me a gift. I am still waiting for my gift. I’m not accruing everything and will take it with interest. I’m going to take it back from them. My favourite rakhi which I bought for them was when they were growing up. They were obsessed with cars, so I bought a rakhi with actual car toys. They ripped those cars and kept with them for the longest. After 30 years, those rakhis have become something like leather bracelets. With age and their taste, I have to keep upping my game because I can’t keep sending them the same design.
Sahaj: Shivang’s was in red, and mine was in blue. I took care of the car. I still have that car with me.
So, is it going to be a virtual celebration this year?
Parineeti: Yes. If they don’t call me before 10am or 11 am, I call them to make sure if they have tied the rakhi which I sent them.
Shivang: We have never missed a rakhi conversion. Didi has been sending us rakhis for all these years, and we wear them for as long as we can. In fact, we like to show them off to each other as well.
Sahaj: For me, the significance of this day obviously becomes more special because we are hardly together. When we get rakhi from her, we wait for the day so that we can tie them. The whole feeling is actually bigger than most of the people feel because we are not together on that day. It is an overwhelming and happy feeling. And we wear our rakhis for at least 10 days.
Your social media pages are a reflection of the close bond you share, and also how often pull each other’s leg. Can you walk us through that?
Sahaj: I am very protective of her. I’ve always been, and that bond has only grown over the years. Today, we three can speak about everything. We truly are closest friends to each other. We make sure we video call each other on a daily basis and talk for hours
Shivang: We have no secrets, from deepest and darkest secrets to the saddest of times to the happiest of times, we know everything. We indulge in banter. Everybody bullies each other and protects each other.
Parineeti: The measure of how each of us is how we talk to each other. If we are roasting each other, making fun of each other, that means everything is fine. The moment we start talking very formally, or it becomes a little fake, that means we are either fighting or there’s something wrong between us, which is super duper rare. We will probably fight once in two years. We are really blessed with too much respect and love for each other.
How do you think the age gap has reduced over the years?
Parineeti: The age gap has disappeared. We seem to be the same age. They were born one year apart. I was already five when they were born, so I felt like a second mother to them. They really are my first two children. I feel like this till today. They have trained me on how motherhood works. Now, the sibling bond, which is usually cliche, doesn’t exist between the three of us. We have our own individual bonds. Shivang is the guy I travel with, and Sahaj is the one I talk about life with and take advice from.
Sahaj: Adding to it, the bond got stronger amid the pandemic because we were away from each other. Now, we have not left each other for a single day. We have had those unplanned calls, texting, and roasting. It has become better with time.
Shivang: To be honest, I feel a sense of panic if I don’t talk to them. Their phone call just changes everything, and brings you out of the tiredness situation. We can’t get rid of each other.
Pari, now that you are set to enter a new phase of your life, as you’ll be soon getting married to Raghav Chadha, were your brothers the first ones you confided in about your relationship?
Parineeti: Any new chapter in our lives is never a chapter for the public first and family. Second, it’s always the opposite. So even if I’m thinking of getting engaged to somebody, there is no way that I will not involve my family first, or talk to them first, or discuss with them first, because marriage is a very big decision in your life, which doesn’t happen all the time. It happens just once. Yes, absolutely. And not only our family, but even both sides of families. We had to meet each other, talk to each other and there was no other way we would have done it.
From setting sibling goals to setting friendship goals, when did this switch happen?
Parineeti: When they were babies, they were completely in my control. The moment they both became taller than I lost all control (laughs). That was the end of it. Then they started putting their arms around my shoulder and I don’t even reach their chest. That was the moment when I knew that my boys have grown up, and now they have all the power. Our bond has also to do with our upbringing. My father and mother are constantly making fun of each other and they constantly have this hot and cold relationship. When you grow up in such a house, it is inevitable. We are a reflection of our parents.
Shivang: It was when I moved to college before that I was always like the youngest who is very protected. When I moved to Pune for my under graduation, I got close to didi as she was in Mumbai. And the conversations changed where they were teaching me about things. Earlier it was them doing everything for me.
Sahaj: For me, it was when I went to a boarding school at the age of nine. We became fonder when I came back because I was away from home and used to miss my place. I really grew stronger, and we became closer. She also confided in me more. Slowly, I knew more about her life, her friend circles, how her school is everything. When she went to higher studies, we came closer and became close friends.