An actress, voice actress, model, half-marathon runner, an avid biker, a certified pilot, former beauty queen and politician, Gul Panag shared her success mantra in all fields at FICCI Ladies Organisation’s ‘Decoding The Success Mantra’, in Hyderabad. She competed in the Miss Universe pageant and the reason was not that she is beautiful, but she speaks well in public.
“When I saw Nafisa Joseph on TV, she was contesting for Miss India, at that moment I thought why I cannot compete in the contest? Not because I am more beautiful than her but because I can speak more than her as I am a public speaker,” Gul shares.
Gul feels that acting is a low hanging fruit, which opens all domes. “Shabana Azmi was my role model for acting. But I think with acting you will get recognition in society, which will help you in life. But I realised that I am not a master of acting. The realisation of what I want to do in life is a master.”
She is a multifaceted personality- a certified pilot is among one, about which she says, “I heard people always say do only one thing at a time in life. But being an actress, I pursued many goals. When I was in Government College for Girls, Patiala, I used to go to college on a motorbike and I used to see planes flying high; looking at them I thought, I should learn flying not for living but for passion. Like people learn how to play piano or guitar, I always wanted to learn how to fly. It was challenging because I used to go to a night school to learn. After that, I became role models for many girls.”
“Life is going from one goal to another to another. Set a goal for yourself and chase that goal. We women operate in man’s first world. Most of the time they define what we should be doing. But, I defied such things. I was a rebellion. I had set my own goals. Set goals and chased them,” she says.
About her political career, she says, “It was my startup, it was good. I learned everything and did it everything by myself from public campaign to filling the nomination as many politicians have separate nomination department. And one will not believe while nominating I was having a master’s degree in Political Science, but I didn’t get the certificate, so I didn’t mention it in the form. Smriti Irani faced similar allegations regarding her educational qualifications.”
Kirron Kher of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won in Chandigarh against Gul Panag’sAamAadmi Party (AAP) but Gul never felt that it was a failure. “I am happy that while campaigning even the ‘chaiwala’ (tea vendor) recognised me and said ‘Madam aapwoh Bullet chalanewalihona’ (Madam you are the one who used to ride a Bullet)?” Out of five she grades herself five as a politician and wants to contest in coming years also.