New Delhi: Award-winning actor Neena Gupta is slated to come out with a no-holds-barred account of her personal and professional life in 2021, announced publishing house Penguin Random House India on Thursday. The memoir, “Sach Kahun Toh”, will chronicle her life — from her childhood in Delhi’s Karol Bagh, and her time at the National School of Drama, to her move to Bombay in the 1980s, as well as her struggles to find work.
It will be published under Penguin ‘Ebury Press’ imprint, they added. A National Award winner with a career spanning more than 35 years, Gupta made her mark in films like “Trikal”, “Mandi” and “Utsav” in the 80s. She rose to further acclaim with the 1998 TV shows “Saans” and “Siski” but work eventually slowed down in the 2000s, before she bounced back with hits like Anubhav Sinha’s “Mulk” and Amit Sharma’s “Badhaai Ho” in 2018.
Gupta, 61, said it was her time spent in Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand recently during the coronavirus-induced lockdown that made her “reflect” and “relive” her life’s journey. “Taking long, winding walks every day, appreciating the sounds of the birds and basking in the chill of the mountain air, I asked myself, ‘Why should I write a book? What do I have to say that could help and inspire someone?’ “With so many incidents that have made me and also broken me, and I needed to free myself by getting them out. Reflecting about my life, my journey and the things I’ve had to overcome will make me feel better and lighter,” said the actor.
She added that through her book she wanted her readers to know that if despite her flaws, her broken relationships and circumstances in her life, “she can get up, get going and look really good while doing so”, so can they. According to the publishers, the book promises to be “a candid, self-deprecating portrait of the person behind the persona”, while talking about “her unconventional pregnancy and single parenthood”, as well as her “successful second innings in Bollywood”.
Gupta and West Indian cricketer Vivian Richards, who were in a brief relationship in the 80s, are parents to celebrated fashion designer Masaba Gupta. Gupta raised Masaba as a single mother for a long time before marrying Delhi-based chartered accountant Vivek Mehra in 2008. Neena Gupta is a treasure and I’ve been a huge fan of her work, her wit and repartee over the years. On social media, she drops truth bombs with perfect poisewhether it be her views on motherhood, the norms of ‘unladylike’ behaviour, or an out-of-work actor seeking roles! The best memoirs are as unsparingly honest as this and I’m so happy that Penguin will be publishing,” said Gurveen Chadha, senior commissioning editor, Penguin Random House India.