Age is just a number for actress Gul Panag who was in the city to promote her upcoming film Turning 30. “For a woman of today, she is as old as she feels.
I don’t feel a day over 20. I am as frivolous and irresponsible as I was when I was 20. And, I don’t mean that in a bad way. Except that I am now a little more grounded in reality and know where my life is going,” says the pretty lass who had a racy weekend at Irungattukottai and even got her shot of adrenaline as she took part in an all-women’s race, “But, if I were to look back at my 20s, there are a few things I wish I could change; I wish I had the kind of understanding of things I have now. 30 is the new 20 and it’s the age one truly comes of age,” she insists.
And, Turning 30 is a film that deals with just that; it is a humorous take on a single young woman’s journey of finding herself as she fights anxieties and fears of turning 30.
“When I was first approached with this script, I was about 29 and I was excited because I had an instant connect with it,” she says, “The role of Naina is very well etched out. She is a very different person to who I am. Naina is a far more gutsy and someone who pushes the envelope. Hers is a life that every man and woman would love to live but don’t have the guts. I wish I could live life on the terms she lived her life. I am still shackled by morality.”
The movie deals with conflicts that an urban woman faces and Gul says in life too conflicts are aplenty. “For instance, the conflict of being in love with somebody but at the same time being attracted to another person. You meet this guy and he is everything you want him to be, he says everything you want him to say and does everything in life that you want to do. And suddenly, you find yourself attracted to another guy who is a total antithesis of this person. How does one deal with that,” she asks on a philosophical note.
Gul spent some of her best years in the south. Having studied in a residential school in Ooty, she says those were the best days of her life. “I always remember going home for holidays. The journey to Delhi by train was the most fun. There would be a group of students travelling together in a batch and we were not under direct supervision. The teacher who travelled with us let us have all the fun we wanted to have.” Of Chennai too, she has some fond memories. “The first time I came to Chennai was when I was about 2 or 3 years old. It was raining heavily and there was knee-deep water in some parts. I remember travelling by autorickshaw to my aunt’s place and when I got out of the rickshaw, I dropped all my money in a puddle of water,” she reminisces.
But it’s the food she loves the most. “I’ve always loved south Indian food; Chettinad cuisine is my favourite. The best dosas are available when you drive between cities in Mettupalayam, Gudalur or Salem – small wayside family-run eateries.”