The GUL Express!

Deccan Chronicle.  | Sitara Suresh Naidu

Entertainment, Bollywood

Bollywood actress Gul Panag was in the ooru to promote her initiative that empowers women!

Gul Panag

She’s fabulous! She’s unstoppable! She’s fit! And she’s humble! Gul Panag – The Family Man actress was in Bengaluru to promote her initiative that empowers women called “Her Drive.” We caught up with her for a small chat. Here’s what she had to say!

This proud 40-year-old mommy recently shared a video of her adorable little one recognising the Prime Minister on the cover of a magazine on her social media account. Humbled by PM Modi’s response Gul speaks about how she balances her personal and professional life. She says, “I run my life like a school time table, this is the only way you can be efficient about it. I compartmentalise my time by dividing it for various activities and ensure to fiercely protect the walls of these compartments.”

From a serial half-marathon runner to an avid biker who is also a certified pilot, Gul certainly seems to have left no stone unturned. For those of you who know Gul, her yen to stay fit isn’t something new. Speaking about her fitness regime, she says it’s no big secret, “It’s all about understanding a fundamental that your body functions like a machine and fuel to be powered by. As a result of this, one finds that it is essentially an input-output equation you have to balance.

You have to understand that the only role food plays in our body is fuel! But, when you start treating food as entertainment or as an emotional crutch that’s when things become hard. Also, no matter how much you workout your capacity to eat is finite. Hence, after a heavy workout session believing that you can eat anything is a myth.”  

Gul seems pretty excited about her first grey role in an upcoming movie Bypass Road starring alongside Neil Nithin Mukesh. Giving us a sneak peek into her character she says, “This is an interesting role because it is my first time playing a grey character and I am looking forward to it. I play Neil Nithin Mukesh’s stepmother and he resents that deeply because I am the same age as him and he finds it very distressing to have a mother his age. He thinks that I have only married his father for his money! This movie is ultimately a hardcore thriller, murder mystery and has an engaging story.”

Speaking about her role in the Amazon Prime original series The Family Man, Gul says, “It is a role that came most naturally to me, given the fact that I come from an armed forces background. I was pleased that I got to play a role that I should have done many years ago. Raj and DK are fantastic directors, working with them has been one of the finest experiences I’ve had in my career, they are very collaborative and open-minded. They are the kind of directors who make film making a truly fun experience. They even take inputs from everyone which is a very rare quality to find.”

With the advent of technology,  digital addiction is surely a disadvantage. However, the actress who is the most active on social media believes that it is essential to have a digital detox, every once in a while. “I enjoy my time off the grid! I just returned from the Maldives and had a great time! I did not switch on my phone. I suggest people to try a digital detox regularly,” says the actress who loves spending time reading, playing with her son and dog.

Gul is part of a campaign called India’s Got Colour with Nandita Das. This initiative is about eradicating discrimination based on the colour of our skin. Gul believes that it is essential for everyone to stand against all forms of discrimination.

Gul Panag is the first-ever woman to drive a Formula E racing car. Inspired by this she started an initiative called ‘Her Drive,’ speaking about the initiative she says, “Being a woman who rides a bike, who drive off-road, drives big jeeps, I have been part of a select club of auto lovers which is male-dominated. I have always wondered why there aren’t many women and realised the stereotypes that exist. Hence, I wanted to open the auto world to women as well.”

Gul loved her time in Bengaluru. She particularly enjoyed the people and weather here. 

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