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Neena Gupta Speaks On The Genesis, Evolution & Response To Her Autobiography Sach Kahun Toh



Neena Gupta

Sach kahun to , Neenaji, I  really enjoyed  reading your memoirs.

Thank you….Kya hua  , I was  in my retreat home in Mukhteshwar spending time walking cooking and  relaxing when a  friend called and suggested that  I write  my book. I said , arrey yaar how many times have I started? I said to myself, let’s  give it another try. So I just  kept writing and writing  without reading back . In that way I stopped myself from brooding over the mistakes that I might have made during the writing. Ek khuli mann se I started to  write.  I wasn’t stuck anywhere .  I never thought  , ‘I am not  a professional writer. I am  an actor. Yeh mera kaam nahin hai.’ After I  had  written  a while I started making notes. The  book  began to gain shape. I started thinking of my past,my childhood, my NSD days,  my films. I couldn’t remember the  names  of many of my films.

 How did  you solve that problem?

I went to Wikipedia  to check   and  then  I contacted people I had long forgotten…like a  teacher whose name   I couldn’t recall.  Karte karte ek dhancha bann  gaya. I made extensive  notes which I referred back to constantly. And almost automatically, without  much thought certain things I  didn’t write  about. The self-censoring process came  from my  heart not my head. I  instinctively knew  what to include and what  to leave out. I didn’t  have  to think  twice about writing about my parents. I didn’t think, ‘Who would be interested in reading  about them?’  My parents  brother Bhabhi  are  no more. If they were alive I wouldn’t have written about them.As simple as  that.I  wrote what came naturally to me. I didn’t sit and think about it.

What  hit me was  the  brutal honesty?

Brutal  honesty(laugh). I don’t like the word ‘brutal’. Honesty has its own sukh,happiness, Transparency gives  you  peace of  mind, better sleep. Honesty gives you satisfaction and a certain power. Of course it has its disadvantages.  But  your conscience  is happy. I am exactly the  kind of person you read about  in my book. I am  glad people  know  me  better.I am not saying they know me fully.But they know me better  after the book. All these  years so much rubbish and  so many lies have  been written about me.Now that I’ve told my  story and  a lot of people  are reading it I am happy my voice  is  being heard.

What has  the  response been like?

I was  worried about how  people  will react to  it . I presumed that readers will expect  juicy  content from first page to last.But I started  with my childhood  … I am amazed at how much people have liked  Sach Kahun Toh. They are saying they can’t stop  reading until they finish the  book  They actually loved the first and last chapters the most.It’s been overwhelming. I never  expected so much genuine love.I am really touched.

Was  the  Masaba Chapter  the  most difficult?

No the  most difficult  chapter  was  the on my brother and my family . I  knew a  lot  about my father because he  lived with me. My mother I hardly knew about. That’s why I say  it is very  important to  interact  with all your family members  while they are still with you. Once they are gone  you are left  with only memory.

Would you  say  Badhai Ho was  game-changer  for you?

It happened late  in my  career . But it  was  the break I was  looking for. I am  a different person now, more confident …I could  write  my book because of Badhai Ho.Success gives you confidence on another level.No matter how much you   know  your own  value , you are  not confident  until you get that recognition and success.I was able to  write the book so easily because  of Badhai Ho. Now  my low selfesteem is  less low(laughs). I am forever grateful to  (director) Amit Sharma  for  giving me this  chance.Otherwise main aise hi chota mota role karte rehti. Ya phir nahin  karti(or  I may have  given  up). That has changed for me.

When can we  expect  Part 2 of Sach Kahun Toh?

Abhi Part 2   ka toh pataa nahin. It will  depend on whether anything significant  will happen  during the  rest of my life .Can’t say anything about it right now.

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