She impressed masses and critics alike with her fiery portrayal as the fiery Pamela ‘Pammy’ Jaiswal in Angry Indian Goddesses, directed by France-based Indian filmmaker Pan Nalin. Notice her dialogue delivery in the film and it is evident where Pavleen Gujral’s talent comes from. The Delhi-based Pavleen Gujral was qualified to be a lawyer, who wanted to make it big in the world of suits and trials, but destiny turned and she became a model. Over a really short period of time, Pavleen has also done several commercials for names such as Heineken, IBM, Mahindra, California Almonds, Art Karat and several others. She has also walked the ramp for designers such as Sabyasachi, Rohit Bal, Tarun Tahiliani during various shows at the Wills India Fashion Week; besides being featured in the look-books for Ritu Kumar, Siddarth Tytler, Leconeat Hemant, Niki Mahajan. Her notable theatre outings at National School of Drama, Mahindra Old World Theatre Festival and Prithvi Theatre Festival include several based on the writings of Mahashweta Devi (‘Bhudan‘ & ‘Urvashi and Johnny’), Henrik Ibsen (‘A Doll’s House’) and Rich Orloff (‘The Whole Shebang’) among others.
Reminiscing about her childhood on World Children’s Day, and also a week during which India celebrated its own, Pavleen says, “I was a complete geek as a child. I used to score very well in class but always the third or the fourth best – not always the first”. Hardly something to be apologetic about Pavleen! 😉 Always buried in books, Pavleen was quite the studious variety and even in college she secured a double graduate degree in computer science and law, “but life had something else in the store,” she says. “I did theatre extensively during my school and college days but never thought of it a career,” says Pavleen, adding, “I knew that being on stage and performing was something I enjoyed a lot.”
Emphasising on the “creative environment” that prevailed at her home, Pavleen says, “Childhood really does get impacted by whatever children see, observe and grow up with. It is, therefore, extremely important that every child gets a positive environment to spread his or her wings. We may not know for sure what our calling eventually will be, but experiences in childhood definitely help shape our future!”
It helped Pavleen immensely that everyone at her home was busy in the pursuit of positive hobbies. “My mother is a painter herself so the environment at home was very creative which encouraged me further,” says Pavleen.
Books and reading also helped Pavleen grow into a creative individual and encouraged her to develop her distinct way of thinking. Underlining the importance of reading, Pavleen says, “I have always been an avid reader and liked books that were out of the ordinary. I read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand pretty early in my life. And can now say with confidence that the book really paved my way towards acting because as an actor you have to know yourself very well in order to do another character which is exactly what the book is about – having your own unique identity.”
Talking about quality friends having an impact on her personality, Pavleen says, “My company at school and college also comprised of singers, dancers, and speakers so the love for performing arts grew from there.”
Pavleen also says it is crucial that a child gets exposed to cultures and people other than the ones he or she is familiar to. “Most of my mother’s side of the family is in the US so we used to visit them quite often as children and I think to see different cultures also really inspires you to think of new avenues. It gives you the confidence to be able to navigate yourself and find and express your own identity,” concludes Pavleen.
What are your suggestions to give a child a complete and rounded upbringing, asides from education? Do share in the comments below…
Text by Aarti Kapur Singh
Pictures Courtesy Pavleen Gujral