Q. Describe yourself
I’m an adventurer.
Q. How do you bring yourself to a state of balance and happiness?
Happiness is an internal state of being, which comes from being grateful, working hard and giving back. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that I have put in my best in all that I have done. I believe that I am blessed to have everything I have, and to show my gratitude, it’s important for me to give back to the world.
Q. What lessons has life taught you?
With time, you realise, your life is the largest stage you are ever going to get. So put up your best act, do everything you want and live life to the fullest. Being scared once in a while is normal but remember that it shouldn’t be the force that drives you. Also, learn to forgive people because forgiveness is a gift to yourself more than anyone else. To fly high, you need to let go of things and grudges that are weighing you down.
Q. How has politics changed your life?
I feel aware – active involvement is the need of the hour in our country in order to fight deep-rooted issues like corruption. I have gotten involved because I believe it’s imperative to contribute and serve more directly.
Q. You are a marathon runner. Does running help you focus?
Anything you do in a disciplined, regular way anchors you and is like meditation.
Q. Your spiritual quotient?
Your ideas create your reality – so entertain positive thoughts. I believe that what you think is what you attract; therefore, an optimistic approach will always boost your morale and help you draw positive energy, and keep you from giving up in testing times.
Q. How do you handle drawbacks?
The only way to tackle a problem is by acknowledging its existence. A lot of times, we are so consumed in self righteousness that we fail to see our flaws. To handle drawbacks, it’s important to accept them first. That, I believe, is the biggest hurdle; once you have crossed that, you just need to follow the path to improvement.
Q. You are passionate about the green movement. What do you incorporate in your life to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle?
I have shifted to an electric car for daily transit. My husband and I are both conscious about leading an environment-friendly lifestyle, which is why he gifted this car to me. I have been trying to build awareness amongst my peers and family about the benefits of using an electric vehicle. A lot of time I come across people with misconceptions such as an electric car isn’t cost efficient. The truth is that these cars are great for cross city distances and cost only `1 per/km! I have been driving up and down the city with my friends to bust their false impression. There are so many ways in which we can help build a green society if only we start putting a little thought into it – like don’t leave the tap running when you are brushing your teeth or doing the dishes, limit your plastic usage and carry your own cloth bag, encourage recycling (instead of throwing away your newspapers, perfume bottles and plastic and metal products, sell them to the good ol’ raddiwalas). They forward your waste to relevant industries where it can all be recycled. Try opting for organic produce.
There are a lot of ways to help, it’s the willingness to do so which helps you leverage all the potential that’s lying around to make an eco friendly world. I even have a eco-green weekend home in Pune, that generates its own power through solar panels. It has double-glazed windows with ventilation mechanism to eliminate the need for airconditioners. Rainwater harvesting provides water supply. We need to be eco-warriors if we want to live healthy lives.
Q . A fit Gul Panag is a result of…
Small everyday habits like drinking 2-3 litres of water, sleeping well, eating healthy and incorporating some form of exercise – even if it’s as basic as going for a daily run.