New Delhi, Jan 13: An interest in travelling, collecting cars and a passion for adventure may be listed as activities perceived as falling in men's domain, but actress Gul Panag does not agree with these stereotypes and has been disproving them in her own life.
Gul, who has been riding bikes from a very early age, said: "No one ever called me a tomboy. Then or now."
"I don't think riding bikes makes a girl a tomboy. Who decides what girls should do or not do? I'm glad the gender stereotypes are being challenged," Gul, who has been seen in films like "Dhoop" and "Dor", told IANS in an email interaction.
Along with her acting commitments, endorsements as well as social initiatives, the former beauty queen always makes it a point to devote time to her hobbies and interests.
The 35-year-old has also found a way to "combine" her "work and passion".
"One can always take out time for things one wants to do. With all the travel, writing, and blogging I do, I am able to combine work and my passion," she said.
Not only has she aligned her passion with her work, but it has found its place in her personal life as well. Her husband Rishi Attari shares the same interests as her, which makes her adventures more enjoyable.
"Both of us share a common passion for adventure and the outdoors and he is most enthusiastic and supportive of all my interests," she said.
Being adventurous means being innovative and creative for the couple.
A few months ago, the couple modified their Mahindra Scorpio SUV, adding thicker tires, a higher ground clearance, and modified the back so that it could be turned into a tent for overnight camping. In short, their car is a perfect adventure vehicle.
Known to go on interesting trips, Gul recently returned from a challenging expedition in Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh.
But, the actress makes it a point to ride safe and not to be "reckless" while embarking on these challenging expeditions.
"Adventure is always about taking calculated risks, not being reckless...I always ride with full riding gear that protects my spine, elbows, knees and head from a fall," she said.
She further added: "As far as camping goes, there isn't much risk involved. All we do is check the weather and carry adequate food supplies in case we are stranded."
A regular perusal of these hobbies helps the actress relax and "rejuvenate".
"Stress is the single greatest cause of not being able to live life to the fullest. Indulging in one's hobbies and interests is a great way to rejuvenate," she said.
While most actresses' don't seem to share the same interests as Gul, she has no hesitation in doing the things she loves.
"I think one should follow one's own path and do what one enjoys doing without worrying about whether others share the same interests or not," she said.
Gul has been also seen in films like "Manorama Six Feet Under", "Fatso!", "Hello Darling" as well the unconventional role in "Turning 30!!!".
She feels that having a career apart from the one she has in Bollywood, gives her the privilege of being choosy where roles are concerned.
"I am doing as many films as I've always done-few. Having a life outside films, making content, being an entrepreneur, allows me to choose the films I really want to do. The kind I believe justify my time and presence," she said.
She also added that she likes to play parts, which "people can relate to".
But is she planning to make a film on adventure ever?
"Most definitely," she said.
(Anjuri Nayar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)