Neena Gupta: I’m Considered a ‘Strong Woman’ Only Because I Had a Child Outside Wedlock
Neena Gupta’s daughter Masaba Gupta—now a celebrated fashion designer— is a love child. Her father is West Indian cricketing legend Vivian Richards.
Image: Instagram/Neena Gupta
Despite having a prolific career spanning decades, Neena Gupta says her image of a strong woman is largely derived from the fact that she decided to have and raise a daughter out of wedlock.
“I am very much aware that I am considered a ‘strong woman’. And I am also aware that that is only because I had a child outside wedlock,” she told Hindustan Times.
“Aur koi bhi cheez mujhmein aisi nahi hai ke mujhe strong kaha jaye! (There’s no other quality in me other than this that makes me strong!) I did that early on and then Ganga naha li! It was like, now I have nothing else to prove. My life is complete,” she added.
Neena says she has a problem with being seen as the face of ‘the modern independent woman’. “The condition of women in our country is so bad that compared to them I have been through nothing. I have just had a child out of wedlock, but I get to be the face of the independent modern woman. I don’t think it is fair,” she said.
Notably, Neena had a daughter—Masaba Gupta, now a celebrated fashion designer—with West Indian cricketing legend Vivian Richards, who was already a married man.
Talking about her decision to have Masaba and raise her all by herself, Neena said, “Many people had advised me not to go ahead with the decision but love is a kind of a nasha. It is not your head taking the decisions, but your heart.”
Saying that the Hindi film industry always stood by her in support, she added, “Bollywood is criticised for many things. But it is a very united industry. The way it rallied around me and became a shield for Masu (Masaba) is something I will always be grateful for. Everyone became protective about her. Everyone wanted to make sure that the kid is brought up right.”
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