Neena Gupta has never had it easy, having a child outside of a marriage in the Indian social climate that she did. That may have affected her professionally and socially but as a mother, it allowed her to thrive.

On her panel during the course of an interaction with Vinita Dawra Nangia at the Times LitFest, as she was talking about her life, the actress revealed how her daughter is often the source of intellectual growth and a widening of perspective for her.

Earlier, in her autobiography — Sach Kahun Toh — Neena talks of her daughter very fondly, that is no surprise. At one point we read as she ponders over one of the biggest parental dilemmas, what lessons of life one should give to their child, writing, “Sometimes I wonder what should I teach my daughter. Should I tell her to settle with a man and start a family? Should I tell her to do things that I couldn’t do because of the choices I made? Or should I tell her to work hard and focus on her career?”

However, the actress admitted that that is not the case anymore. Instead of wondering what she is teaching her daughter, she learns from her.

“The one thing she has taught me is social media and how to behave there! She has also taught me to be non-judgemental. One day, I told her how a person had said some stuff to me, and that I thought she is not a nice person. But Masaba told me, ‘Mom, she is like that. Why are you being judgemental about her, let her be.’ It’s the little things she tells me that make me realise I am getting unnerved about something trivial,” said Neena.

However, Masaba has probably no reactions to her mother’s autobiography at all. “I think she knows my life story so well that… I don’t think she has even read it yet! I have never hidden anything from her,” the actress shared.

She also reminisces of her own mother who she did not feel as close to. Neena thinks her mother was quite set on her getting a proper education and even join the IAS, but she also takes it to be a sign of her mother’s love for her.

Neena wrote the book starting last year, although a few versions had been drafted before. Various reasons had stopped her from seeing the project through to fruition before, she details a lot of the misery that befalls her at the hands of others, many of those her own family. She wanted to respect their sentiments and now that they have all passed away, there is no worry of hurting their feelings.


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