On cloud nine

Going places

On cloud nine

Gul Panag wears oodles of confidence on her sleeve. Actor, ardent off-roader and licensed pilot —  all wrapped in one — Gul always excels in everything that she lays her hands on. She also believes in doing things that make her happy and has never done something just to be in the limelight.

She is no feminist but thinks that women must have access to the same opportunities and rights as men do and that they must work towards empowering themselves. Gul, who was in the city recently on an invitation from Embassy Office Parks, took time off to chat with Nina C George about what keeps her going.    

How do you manage to juggle so many things with ease?

It’s always challenging to do anything that is out of the ordinary because the ordinary is safe and comfortable. The moment you take the road less travelled, it’s going to be a greater challenge. Whether it is road trips or flying a plane, I’ve always done things that make me happy.

What kind of preparations went into the road show, ‘Off Road with Gul Panag’?

The road show didn’t need much physical preparation. Generally women have conditioned themselves into believing that they aren’t capable of something as adventurous as ‘Off Road...’ Women have also conditioned their minds into believing that they cannot drive in the mountains. But I can say from experience that driving on city roads for a long time and in the hills is pretty much the same. I am an ardent off-roader and enjoy adventure. I am looking forward to more of it.

On being a champion of women’s rights...

Women must begin to empower themselves and become equal stakeholders in society. Women first need to believe that they are capable of a lot more than what society makes them out to be. Empowerment isn’t a fruit that can be put on a tray and given to women, it must come from within. If they can help empower each other, then that would be the greatest contribution to womankind.

Why haven’t you signed many films of late?

More than films, my adventure trips keep me busy. The adventure show ‘Off Road with Gul Panag’ will soon be travelling to the North East. I also take off on my own to any place that catches
my fancy.

You are now a licensed pilot...

Yes I am and my aim is to fly a couple of hours every few months. It is primarily a hobby and I fly cross-country, every two or three months. It’s nice because you are flying alone in the aircraft and have to leave everything else behind. It’s a great hobby and I am glad that I have invested time and money in it.

Your thoughts on Bengaluru...

It’s a great city and I always look forward to coming here. 

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