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Spirit W | The raw passion of storytelling: Dir/ Prod/Writer, Gul Khan

Director, Producer and Writer Gul Khan is well known for her amazing shows like ‘Geet,’ ‘Arjun’, ‘Iss Pyaar ko kya naam dun’ and many more.  She started her career as an assistant on the hugely popular dance show “Boogie Woogie” which went on to run for the next eight years on television. Gul then went on to write and direct some of the most popular and widely acclaimed television shows like “Sanjeevani”, “Shaheen” and “Rishtey”. She has also created content for the television market in Indonesia and some of the shows there like “Bewang Merah Bewang Putih” and “Mimpi Manis” are still considered landmarks on the Indonesian television landscape. She turned producer and co-founded 4 Lions Films in 2008.

Adgully caught up with her during the launch of her current show, ‘Qubool Hai’, which was aired on Zee TV early  this week, to learn and know more about her journey in this domain. 
Gul believes that getting a job in Mumbai and secondly getting her first break as a director, with Zee’s show ‘Rishtey’, have been the  key high points of her journey so far.

Gul admits to having landed in this profession accidently so we asked her what prompted her to continue with this  profession. She said, “I really wonder from where I gained inspiration for this field but somehow I always knew that I wanted to be director and used to love watching ‘Wagle ki Duniya’ and got fascinated with the art of storytelling. Although you do not understand the term as a kid I used to love that art.”

When asked about her inspiration, she told us that she was an avid film viewer since her school days and used to watch three films a day. During those days her favorite director was one of the renowned directors, ‘Raj Kapoor’. She says, “I used to love watching his films day and night, no matter what. Those were the days when I used to cherish the films but now I understand what the key elements of his movies were and what made me love that cinema.” 

According to her it was the raw passion of storytelling that made her love this field. When asked what challenges were faced by her, she actually said, “Let’s rephrase the question as ‘what are the challenges that you ‘Do Not’ face in this domain.” Having said that she explained how in the earlier days there were not so many women directors so being on the field and balancing the male dominated domain was completely different and difficult.”

She says, “I personally faced a lot of challenges in terms of convincing my parents to setting up a career in the city like Mumbai.”

When asked if she faced any kind of prejudice in this industry, Gul was in absolute agreement. She said, “In our field it’s not only prejudice against women but prejudice against women in the technical field. People are still on the verge of accepting women as Directors.”

Speaking about her current show, ‘Qubool hai’, she said, “Qubool Hai is about the journey of life, its trials and tribulations and acceptance of one’s fate. This show is a life-changing experience for me as I aim to make Zoya an epitome for young Muslim women who do not see themselves being represented positively on the small screen. Despite the control and authority that has been imposed by some narrow minded elements of Islam, I will showcase a more universal approach where women and minorities are regarded as equal and Zoya represents it!”

Few things that she would want to change in this domain would be that there should be ‘seasons of television shows’ so that total justice could be done to them; secondly she would want to see more women in the technical field and thirdly there should be a platform where creators feel free to create without facing so many barriers.

If she had not chosen this field then what would have been her other options? Gul said she would have been a choreographer.

Gul Khan holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from MCRC, Jamia Millia University, New Delhi.  | By Aanchal Kohli [aanchal@adgully.com]

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