We asked Priyanka Chopra, who stars in ABC’s action-packed drama Quantico, to share the story behind one of most cherished possessions: the charm necklace that her late father wore while battling cancer.
"This charm necklace is very personal to me because it belonged to my father, whom I lost to cancer almost four years ago," said Chopra. "At the beginning of his health battle [in 2005], my mom bought him this solid-gold chain from our family jeweler in India. It had just one charm at the time: an emerald, which according to Hindu astrology can positively affect your health. I'm not a blind believer in many things, but when someone is sick, you do whatever you can to gather prayers. So over the next eight years, my family collected healing charms from around the world to add. My dad hated wearing it—probably because of how heavy it became. I took a few charms off after he died, and now I wear it almost every day. As someone who's always traveling, I feel like I'm carrying my family and my country with me wherever I go. The world may be my oyster, but there's something about where you come from—and this necklace makes me feel rooted. It's part of my identity."
All about the charms:
1. "We got this diamond and gold om symbol from a temple in northern India."
2. "This charm features the Muslim prayer for healing and protection called Ayatul Kursi."
3. "Prophets can tell you which stone suits you for health purposes, and this emerald was recommended by a learned pundit in India."
4. "The two rudraksha seeds are my favorite. They're rare, so they're considered lucky. My mom got one of them from the head priest at Amarnath, which is one of the biggest Hindu prayer sites in northern India."
5. "This is a photo of Hariakhan Baba, a spiritual guru my family follows."