After being a Miss India, actor, biker, politician, pilot and now mother, Chandigarh’s famous dimpled girl, Gul Panag is headed towards being a motivational speaker, as became apparent from her lecture at a recent event in city.
Having worn multiple hats since her days as a Miss India (1999), Gul Panag, it seems, is also qualifying as a motivational speaker. At a recent career and counselling event of a private university in Chandigarh, Gul was invited to address a group of students, where she spoke about how to stay relevant by specialising in their own field of interest in today’s cut-throat competitive world, and follow their dreams fearlessly. While talking to them, Gul went down memory lane and spoke about what choices she had to make in order to keep the process of learning alive, through education.
“Right now, I am all focused on Nihal,” she said commenting on her 11-month old son, whom she put on view for the world six months after his birth, “But, right through, I never stopped learning. I think there is no age to learn. When I won the Miss India title back in 1999, I was still in my second year of graduation. People suggested that I don’t need to study further as I had the title and my career was taking a leap. But, I wanted to study more and got myself a post-graduation degree in Political Science.” The actor, politician, and now certified pilot, also pursued her passion for flying alongside all her other vocations in these years. “Since I was interested in aviation, I took up the flying course and cleared it. Other degrees and courses allow you to pass with 33%, but flying course expects you to pass with 70% because if you know 70% theory only then can you safely bring down the plane with its passengers. The world is changing today and we must equip ourselves to be prepared to handle the disruption,” she said.
Commenting upon the patriarchal tendency of women being oppressed, which is also reflected through Bollywood and Punjabi entertainment industry, Gul put the blame on the industry, which is making such choices, and selling this attitude.
“Our society reflects our thoughts, and sadly our male dominant society does objectify women. The people who are making such songs, if they do not have brains in the right place, we can’t really do much in that scenario.”
The actress who had taken a sabbatical from films, is now making a comeback this year with films like, Student Of The Year 2 and Bypass Road, alongside Neil Nitin Mukesh.
Fielding queries from the students, taking one such question on the #MeToo campaign, which had riddled Bollywood, Gul opined it was better to focus on the real victims, rather than quoting isolated cases who used the campaign for personal ends. “Every issue has its pros and cons. #MeToo campaign brought in many such women who had been through some unfair treatment. I think we should be focusing more on such women, the real victims, rather than a woman or two who, have used the campaign for their own personal agenda.”