Actor Neena Gupta recently released her autobiography titled Sach Kahun Toh in which she writes about her personal and professional journey from Delhi to Mumbai and her struggles in Bollywood. The actor has also candidly written about her relationship with Vivian Richards, her unconventional pregnancy and being a single mother in the early 90s.
Here's an interesting excerpt from the book in which Gupta writes about her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter Masaba:
So yes, Vivian and I had an affair and I got pregnant.
He had already returned home when I found out. I thought about what this meant for me, my career and my entire life.
Should I keep the baby or should I abort it?
I also couldn’t confide in too many people at the time because I couldn’t risk the media finding out. I was a known figure and Vivian was an international star.
Some people advised me to get an abortion. Others cautioned against the perils of being a single parent. I listened to everyone patiently. They were all very concerned, I know. But once I was back home and alone, I asked myself: What do you think? How does this make you feel?
The answer was: I was giddy with joy! I was so happy to be pregnant. I was so excited to be a mother. My body was ready for the pregnancy. Maybe that’s why I got pregnant to begin with, because I sure as hell didn’t do this on purpose. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones or my youth and naivety, but I felt like this was really meant to be.
I also understood I wasn’t the only person who had a say in the situation. The baby’s father, Vivian, had an equal right. So, I called him one day and spoke to him for a long time.
‘I’m pregnant,’ I told him. ‘Would you have a problem if I were to have your baby?’
Vivian sounded happy and said I should go ahead. This assured me that I was doing the right thing.
As much as I wanted this child, I also did not want to go ahead if the father wasn’t on board. So, it came as a relief when Vivian supported my decision.
Vivian was as involved as possible, given that he was constantly on the move for matches, that he lived a whole world and a half away and that he was already married.
Our relationship continued on and off for a few years and we had some beautiful moments and also some ugly ones. It was long distance and a very different kind of relationship.
During my pregnancy and for years (even decades) after, people said I was impulsive. That I should have chosen otherwise.
But regardless of what happened, the backlash I faced, the struggles in my life and my career, I was always very, very happy because I got a beautiful daughter out of it. Masaba has been worth everything and more.
Published with the permission of Penguin Random House.
Sach Kahun Toh by Neena Gupta
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