Gul is an Actor and Producer who has been part of the Entertainment Industry for the last 13 years. She has emerged as a thinking actor; her choice of work setting her apart from her contemporaries. Gul is a highly respected actor known for her ability to portray diverse characters with ease in multiples languages. She has attained critical acclaim for each of her roles, winning awards, nominations and adulation.
Apart from being an Actor, Gul is a responsible activist and powerful opinion maker known to speak her mind fearlessly on a variety of issues covering a spectrum from strategic & foreign affairs to safety of women and citizen responsibility. She uses her Twitter and Facebook platform to facilitate debates, discussions and discourses on topical matters, and endeavours to amplify causes with a solution oriented approach. She is known to be one of the most influential people on social media in India. Gul runs an NGO – The Colonel Shamsher Singh Foundation that works towards promoting citizen-government partnership towards gender equality, addiction awareness, education, employment and disaster management. The Foundation also runs an online volunteering portal the Social Outreach and Accreditation Program.
Gul being multi-faceted is extremely passionate about automobiles, fitness, technology and aviation. She is a freelance columnist writing on automobiles, travel, fitness and technology and; has been on the jury of various Automobile and Technology Awards. She is well known for being supremely fit, is a serial half-marathon runner and is now working on program to evangelise her philosophy of strength, endurance and flexibility.
Gul is currently pursuing her Private Pilot License with the ultimate aim of doing a round the world trip in a single engine plane. She is also has plans of pursuing a Law Degree in the near future.
Gul was born in Chandigarh on 3 January 1979, into a 2nd generation armed forces family. She had the fortune of traveling all over the country due to her father’s frequent transfers. By the end of her schooling she had changed 14 schools! Among many Kendriya Vidyalaya’s, The Lawrence School Lovedale, she also studied in Lusaka, Zambia at the International School. She is an alumnus of the Government College for Girls, Patiala, where she received a Bachelor’s of Arts majoring in Mathematics, Economics and Political Science. She is pursuing a Masters in Political Science from Punjab University Chandigarh. Gul always maintained a keen interest in sport and public speaking. She’s won many state and national level debating competitions, including gold medals twice, at the Annual National Inter University Debate.
Entering the Miss India Pageant was a mere extension of her multitalented personality. It came as no surprise when she was crowned Miss India Universe in 1999, at twenty years of age while in third year of her college. Adamant about finishing her Graduation, she took time off in her reign year to do the same. The journey since then has been eventful and rewarding. She did TV shows including the critically acclaimed series Kashmeer, before graduating to film with the superbly received Dhoop.
Much more than just an actress…
She’s also an avid reader…
Gul often reads 2-3 books simultaneously; one on her bedside, another in the car and usually one in her handbag. She has a large collection of books and is a collector of first editions. Her all-time favourites include A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. She also is a big fan of the Harry Potter series.
And an Adventurer…
Apart from tennis and swimming to keep fit, Gul also enjoys adventure and endurance sports such as white water rafting, rock climbing and trekking and takes out time to indulge in them. She recently went hiking in the greater Himalayas and came back enthralled - “It allows me to view my work and life in general from a whole new perspective each time I return”. An off road enthusiast, Gul has a customized Audi Q5, can often be spotted exploring tracks in the nearby hills of Lonavala and Karnala. Doing one annual heavy duty road trip is a ritual for her.
A keen shot, Gul’s also very good with handling guns and has been shooting skeet and rifle since her early teens. She often shoots with and trains under her brother Sherbir who was a national level shooter. Shooting helps her maintain focus and tests her concentration to its limits. She has set her sights on, one day, entering the arena of competitive shooting.
Bitten by the Travel Bug…
A hunger to visit new places always sees her taking off to lesser-known destinations. She feels the more she travels, the more she learns and absorbs in her persona and thus the more she can give to each role she portrays. Seeing her passion for traveling to offbeat places, Visit Finland has appointed her their honorary Brand Ambassador in India. Her current agenda is to visit every single World Wonder (ancient and now, modern). Up next is a visit planned to the stone city of Petra in Jordan and lots more of Finland.
Love for Horses…
Even though Gul keeps very busy with work, she regularly takes out time to ride. She’s been riding since she was ten years old and hasn’t stopped since. As a young girl, she also participated and won medals in various Equestrian events. Whether in Mumbai or when visiting her parents, horses are always a part of her life and she thoroughly enjoys time spent riding in tandem with the horse.
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