Grow from experience! | Daily News


Grow from experience!

With Hemal Ranasinghe in  ‘1970 Love Story’
With Hemal Ranasinghe in ‘1970 Love Story’

Gamya Wijayadasa and her fashion escapades have their own story to tell. The former Miss Sri Lanka World 2009 had swooned many by her aura, charm and charisma for years. From studying psychology to acting in Bollywood films and working in Australia, the beauty notes that she has achieved everything she had set out to achieve in her life so far.

“While there have been detours, failures, disappointments and heartbreak, my biggest achievement has been to keep going. I’ve realised my life and its meaning isn’t defined by my achievements but the moments that have meant something to me and the lives I’ve touched or the difference I’ve made on this earth. All those things don’t have to be huge things that the world celebrates but things that matter to you. So I’ve managed to grow in the years I’ve occupied this earth. There is a long way to go. My commitment is to keep on growing and I am not quite ticking achievements off a list anymore,” she said.

She says that being a beauty pageant title holder, an actress and business woman are all important facets in her life. All three are equally significant in defining her.

“Above all, I like being a woman, a daughter, a friend!” she quipped with a smile.

Gamya has worked in three Bollywood projects. She has played a lead role in two of them which were full length feature films in Hindi. One was a film titled ‘Aalaap’ in which she did an ‘item number’ for the song called ‘Chadti Jawaani Mazedaarr’ .

“It was a really fun and amazing experience where I got to show off the performer and dancer in me. I chose to work in those movies because of the roles I got offered and the teams that were around them. There was an opportunity to learn and grow and I’m extremely grateful for it,” she said.

Next she flew back to Australia which she dubs as her ‘home’ as she had been raised there from childhood.

“Working there is always so amazing. I feel right at home. I feel loved and celebrated. I’ve gotten some amazing opportunities there and each time, I felt valued for my talent, for my unique looks, for my skin colour and for my ethnicity. I love Australia for the multicultural nation it is for this reason. Working is always a joy because of how professional they are. I think my work ethic fits there so perfectly because I value things like punctuality, preparation, being organized and hard work. Also I love the interesting people I meet on projects there from all walks of life. I miss that at the moment being unable to fly there and work,” she added melancholy.

Though she is a well known face in the glamour and beauty scene, Gamya points out that she never considers herself as a ‘celebrity’.

“I love getting paid for doing what I love! I love performing and making an impact in the world through art. I love the recognition and love we get also as a result. The flip side of that being in the public eye and being susceptible to public scrutiny is a con but it’s also an occupational hazard we have to accept,” she opined.

Queried on if she was ever made to feel like an outsider in the competitive Bollywood industry, Gamya notes that since she speaks fluent Hindi and looks a bit Indian, nobody realized that she is Sri Lankan unless she revealed it to them.

“I did feel like an outsider for not being a part of the inner Bollywood circle where opportunities are and where networking is. So while I knew influential people, I never quite knew whether I belonged. So there was a bit of a struggle there. There was also a lot of lessons to be learned which later became huge tools for me in my careers going forward,” she explained.

Asked if she would have done something different in life if she got the chance to change it, Gamya gives a brief, “yes and no.”

“I want to say I regret nothing but in hindsight there are things I would do differently. Having said that we do things at the time with the experience and the wisdom we have access to so we can’t regret something that we didn’t know better about. So it’s about not wasting that experience and using it to grow from it,” she thoughtfully added.

Moving to Down Under, one almost wonders if Gamya has given up on making it big in Bollywood. However she is quick to note that giving up on her dreams is in not in her DNA. She thoroughly believes there is more than one path to get to a destination.

“We must be agile in our personal lives as we must be in business. We must adapt and adjust our strategies. So that’s what I’m doing. My destination remains unchanged,” she remarked.

She has worked in two Sri Lankan films ‘U Turn’ which was screened last year and ‘1970 Love Story’ which is yet to hit film halls. Gamya says that she chose to work on these projects because the two films are completely pole opposite in terms of their cinematic language.

“Teams kind of overlapped so I worked with some of the same people in both films. I picked those films because of the directors mainly and the roles offered. Both were rather challenging at the outset and that was attractive to me. I have been offered 5 or 6 movies in recent times. Some I’ve had to let go of for various reasons but two are getting made this year so that’s very exciting,” she said.

Gamya says that that ‘1970 Love Story’ has so much to offer to movie buffs. It is a kaleidoscope of romance, 70s vibe, drama and comedy, and stars an exceptional cast.

“This is a complete entertainer and we haven’t had that in theaters of late so a movie enthusiast would absolutely love it! I am really looking forward to the release,” she enthused.

Elaborating on her clothing brand ‘Waidurya’ Gamya reflects that it was born at a time when her life was at a juncture where she had to decide on a path forward.

“This was something that I had a passion and a natural skill for from childhood. I enjoy designing so much. It gives me pure joy. My brand aesthetic is a reflection of my personal style. It’s got a unique signature to it that has now become recognizable. I take risks with colour, concept and design and I do it because I have to love it first and foremost. I’m just grateful that so many people around the world love it too making it an international brand. I’m blessed to be doing what I love!”

Spiritual growth, love, creating and being of service are some of the things which she finds exciting in life. She believes that that this whole year which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic has been a hard learnt lesson for the world.

“Do not let this lesson go to waste! It’s been a complete leveler where no matter who you are, where you are, what you have and don’t have, we have experienced the same thing! I have completely allowed this lesson to do what it’s supposed to do and change me. I’m trying to emerge better and stronger. I think we all can. Mother Earth is telling us something and it’s time we listened!” she mused.

Pictures by Arantha Sirimanna, Blanc Noir Studios and Samal Bandara Hair and make up by Lakshitha Jayasingha

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