Women of today – this is exactly what we will call the phenomenal Neena Gupta. A paradigm of strength, resilience, and enthusiasm, Neena Gupta with every step in her life proved that life is not meant to be bound in a cage of rules. She proved that if you have the will you can walk any path, and no one will even raise a finger at you. Neena Gupta recently released her autobiography ‘Sach Kahun Toh’, which provides a candid and affecting appraisal of her professional and personal journeys. Not once in her book, she indulges in self-pitying, but she tells her story so unapologetically that one will fall in love with the star. She calls herself “flawed”, “chipped” and “broken”, who has frequently grappled with the consequences of her life choices. Her life is no less than an adventure, her life story is definitely going to catch your attention.
So, here presenting the uncensored life story of Neena Gupta – a woman who dared to break norms and is still ruling the industry at the age of 62! Do read until the end, because her story will not just inspire you, but it will make you admire Neena Gupta as a person. Her life journey will also give you the strength to face any problems in your life.
Neena Gupta’s memoir has been in the works for almost 20 years now. She never actually completed it, but the lockdown period and her surroundings in Mukteshwar gave her the strength and focus to finally pen down what she wanted to for years.
Neena Gupta’s Childhood
Neena Gupta describes her mother as a strict woman with strong Gandhian principles. She says that she looked up to her. Neena’s mother Shakuntala Gupta was a school teacher with two master’s degrees in Sanskrit and political science (which she eventually quit looking after Neena and her brother Pankaj Gupta) Neena’s mom passed away due to cancer in the year 1985. Neena Gupta’s childhood memories are devoid of the mention of her father, but later in one of the chapters Neena mentions him and says, “He always peeled two oranges, tasted them both and then let me have the sweeter one.”
Bollywood actor Satish Kaushik introduced Neena Gupta into the world of acting. He had cast her in one of the college plays and then encouraged her to join the National School Of Drama. After this, she tried her luck in Bollywood. It wasn’t that rewarding at first – a hugely popular commercial for the pressure cooker Hawkins, small parts in films, television shows – that paid the bills but didn’t translate into leading roles.
Neena Gupta accepted that she made a lot of wrong choices, but she also said that she had no choice as she wanted money to pay her own bills. Neena Gupta feels that she never entered the big league because of the role in the marital drama Saath Saath, in which she had a habit of saying “Main na kehti thi.” She calls this character of hers the ‘lallu ladki’. Although the part got Gupta good notices and a fan following, she came to regret it. She was also warned that this role will typecast her and no one will give her the lead role, which is exactly what happened with her.
The World Famous Love Story
Neena Gupta’s love story is a courageous one. This dates back to the 1980s when the West Indies team landed in India for a series match. The team was led by the ladies’ man Vivian Richard. It is said that Neena Gupta met him at a party in Mumbai. Though both of them were poles apart, sparks flew between them and it took no time for them to fall in love. Soon Neena Gupta became pregnant and marrying Vivian was totally off the cards. Vivian Richard was married with two kids then.
Back then having a child out of wedlock was unheard of. Neena was raised by an Orthodox family too and hence giving birth to a love child seemed difficult. This was when Neena Gupta’s close friend Satish Kaushik offered to marry her so that her child will have a father’s name. Neena was touched by his gesture, but she refused the offer. At a time when celebrities would think twice before giving birth to a love child, Neena Gupta broke the stereotypes and went ahead with her pregnancy and then gave birth to a beautiful daughter – Masaba Gupta.
Neena Gupta, in her book, also revealed that she was very alone during her pregnancy days. She said that it was a very tough time for her. Infact, she just had 2000 rupees with her when she was about to give birth to Masaba. It was only because of a timely tax reimbursement that she could take care of all the expenses. Neena Gupta had even started going back to shoots when her kid was just one and half years old. But Neena faced all the troubles like a strong woman.
Neena Gupta found love in her life in her 40s. Yes! Yet another stereotype is broken by the great strong woman Neena Gupta. She got married at the age of 40. Neena Gupta was skeptical to fall in love after the heartbreaks she received in her initial days. But then she found Delhi-based Chartered Accountant Vivek Mehra, and she could stop herself from falling in love with him. They tied the knot in 2008 when the actress was 48.
In 2017, an Instagram post by Neena Gupta went viral. In this post, she was seen asking for work. She had written, “I live in Mumbai and working as a good actor looking for good parts to play” Neena Gupta revealed that she received several offers after that and that she even accepted all of them. She said that there is no shame in accepting that she had no work at that time. Right after a year, in 2018, her film Badhai was released, and the film was a huge hit. It was in fact the 9th highest-grossing film of that year and Neena Gupta’s second Innings in Bollywood began with a bang. She was then seen in movies like Panga, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, and Sardar Ka Grandson. She was even seen in a lot of commercials. We can say that her second inning is more successful than her first. With each film, she is just winning hearts.
Unknown Instances From Neena Gupta’s Life
- Failed First Marriage
It is unknown to many that Neena Gupta was married initially to Amlan Kusum Ghose. This was her college time love. They met at the college campus and fell in love. Their relationship became public after one of her friends blabbered about them in front of their parents. Eventually, to get permission to visit Srinagar with Amlan, Neena actually got married to him. The wedding did not last.
2. Marriage Called Off Last Minute
Neena Gupta revealed that she was about to marry a man and she was busy shopping for her wedding when he called her up at the last moment and called off the wedding. She said that he did not even give any explanation and that she was okay and moved on as she couldn’t do anything else.
3. Neena’s Mom Tried To End Her Life
Neena Gupta opened up about her father’s second marriage and said that he was courageous to marry the love of his life i.e Neena’s mom, but he was also a dutiful son and hence ended up marrying another woman from his community as he was forced by his family. Neena’s mother was shattered and she tried to end her life and thankfully failed.
4. Was Suggested To Marry A Gay
Neena was having a child, Masaba, out of wedlock at a time when India wasn’t welcoming of the idea. This was the time when she was suggested to marry a gay so that at least she will be termed married. Neena Gupta laughed off the idea and stood by her decision to give birth to Masaba without a father.
5. When Vivian Richard Didn’t Speak To Neena Gupta For 5 Years!
Neena Gupta and Masaba were supposed to meet Vivian Richard for a trip. Masaba was really excited about it as she was meeting her father. Neena Gupta revealed that unfortunately Masaba’s school admission dates coincided with the trip dates and she had to call him up and ask to reschedule the trip. But he thought that she was not interested in meeting him and was finding a reason to drop out of the plan. He cut the call angrily and never called back for the next 5 years!
If Neena Gupta’s already adventurous life wasn’t enough, here are a few more controversies to add to the list. Some of them being said by her, some instances narrated to us by her, and much more.
- The Saand Ki Aankh Controversy
Neena Gupta is one outspoken personality. She speaks her mind and doesn’t think of the consequences that will follow. When the film Saand Ki Aankh was released, Neena Gupta had made a controversial statement saying that ‘Yes i was just thinking about this hamari umar ke role toh kamsekam humse kara lo bhai’ Though she said it in a fun way, it created a lot of ruckuses. The film starred Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar in the lead. The Internet stood by Neena Gupta when this became an issue.
Yes i was just thinking about this hamari umar ke role toe kamsekam humse kara lo bhai https://t.co/6Fmrxn0HbE— Neena Gupta (@Neenagupta001) September 24, 2019
2. Bold statement
In an interview, she was asked what decision she would like to change if she got the chance to go back in time. She was quick to answer, “ I would not have a child outside marriage.” Well, this was one of the boldest answers she gave.
3. Casting Couch
Neena Gupta remembers a casting couch incident and reveals that she was called by a producer from the South Film Industry to discuss a project. She was called to his room and after the role was discussed, Neena Gupta said that she has to leave now. This was when he said, “ Aren’t you going to spend the night here?” Neena Gupta was shocked to hear this. The producer thrust her bag in her arms and told her that she wasn’t being forced to do anything and she just ran out of the room.
4. Choli Ke Peeche Song Controversy
Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai was a hit yet controversial song done by Neena Gupta. She remembers one shocking incident from the sets and revealed that she was given a tribal Gujarati outfit to wear and was sent to Subhash Ghai for approval. ‘No! No! No! No!’ he shouted. ‘Kuch bharo.’ Listening to this, Neena Gupta was really embarrassed. She didn’t shoot that day, but the next day she wore a heavily padded bra and the look got approved.
Neena Gupta even received her first Filmfare award and she was really happy about it. She said in her speech that she thought that this award would never come her way. Neena Gupta deserves every kind of award – right from being the bravest person to the best actress, she has doned every character of her life with perfection. Not once she decided to lower her chin and quit, she fought against all odds and reigned the world like a queen. She has also made her daughter Masaba Gupta a strong independent woman. Neena Gupta clearly knows to break stereotypes and create her own way. She is the woman that every girl should be looking up to. She is the inspiration that we all need. She taught us that life might throw stones at you, but the right way to live life is to tackle and dodge the problems and walk ahead head high. The journey might be painful, but the destination will be beautiful.
We respect and love Neena Gupta for her craft and her determination. Salute to the woman of today- NEENA GUPTA! Also, we are now waiting to watch many more films of Neena Gupta, because we can’t deny that she is mesmerizing onscreen (offscreen too!!!)