The 32-year-old former Miss World feels gender inequality is a major issue in Indian society.

"My character Ayesha represents most women in India. They are put in a box and can't raise their voice no matter from how affluent or educated society they come from. Gender equality does really exist in such societies too.

"It was beautiful to be Ayesha and I could relate myself to the character because I belong to a conservative Punjabi family and I took inspiration from my own family," Priyanka told reporters here on the sidelines of IIFA 2015 Weekend and Awards here.

The National-award winning actress said it was tough for her to play the unassertive role in the Zoya Akhtar-directed film just after her strong character in "Mary Kom".

"It was an extremely hard transition for me. I played a tomboyish role in Mary Kom but Ayesha was more towards the stifled side. I completely relied on Zoya for the first 10 days but later I got my feminine side back," she said.

In the film, Priyanka also made her debut in Bollywood playback singing opposite co-star Farhan Akhtar, who plays her love interest.

Asked if she takes Farhan as a strong competitor when it comes to singing, she said,"No competition with Farhan. I was shy about singing and Farhan encouraged me during the shooting of 'Don'. After the shooting, we used to have jam session. He only nudged me on to sing."

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