I don’t think I‘d have written my autobiography if my parents or brother were alive: Neena Gupta

14/10/2021

Penning an autobiography is no easy feat and Neena Gupta will agree, now that she has come out with one of her own, called ‘Sach Kahun Toh’.
Even for the outspoken actress, who has always been candid about her life, the process was both insightful and cathartic at once.
In a special interaction with Vinita Dawra Nangia, the Times LitFest Director and Executive Editor of ETimes, the actress mused about the reason why she decided to take stock of her life so far, at this point in her life.
Like many of her peers, the actress, too, found herself with ample time to reflect on and contemplate during the pause that was the coronavirus-induced lockdown. “I had signed with publishers two-three times over the last 10-15 years, but I used to start writing and get stuck; I was not ready and it just didn’t happen.
But in the pandemic, when I was in my Mukteshwar house for around six months, I had nothing much to do and got the time to think about my life: what I had learned, what I had to do. Suddenly, I started to write, and then I didn’t stop,” she smiled.
In the book, the actress mentions how her father had two full families and used to divide his time between them, spending the nights with the other family, and even splitting their vacations between them.
When asked if it was especially difficult to give readers an insight into her parents’ unusual relationship given how fiercely her mother had protected the truth from coming out, and assess how it impacted her psyche, eventually also writing chapters on their demise, Neena nodded in the affirmative.
“My mother killed herself trying to hide what my father did to her. I think that is why I have written this book when my father, mother, brother, and bhabhi (sister-in-law) are no more. I don’t think I‘d have written it if my parents or brother were alive. I think that was also one reason that I could write now,” she relayed, more to herself than anyone. The actress then went on to admit that the chapters on the death of her mother, father, and brother, were very difficult to write. “Sometimes I’d write one page and after that, I would not write for a week. While certain things went very smoothly, with these chapters I had a lot of problems,” she confessed.
But did writing it all out prove to be the catharsis she needed? Neena paused for a beat before answering, “I thought it will help, but in this regard, I don’t know... I feel numb. I don’t know if it has all come out. I am often asked if, now that I have written it out, everything is out of my system and I feel relieved, but upon introspection, I have realised that nothing like that has happened.
Maybe because I have not written everything that I wanted to write and have left certain things. I have changed most of their names and also hidden a few things because my heart didn’t agree with letting me talk about it. I think maybe that is why it is still within me; my heart isn’t completely light,” she mused.
To watch the full session with Neena Gupta talking about life, love, and regrets in her book 'Sach Kahun Toh', visit timeslitfest.com at 5 pm today.

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