Writing an autobiography is no simple feat and Neena Gupta will concur, since she has come out with one of her own, called ‘Sach Kahun Toh’ Even for the outspoken actress, who has consistently been sincere with regards to 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 said, “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.”
When asked if it was especially difficult to give readers an insight into her parents’ unusual relationship, Neena said, “My mother killed herself hiding this fact–what my father did to her–I didn’t want to insult her by writing the book when she was alive. 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.
However, did writing everything out end up being the therapy she required? Neena stopped for a beat before replying “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 realized 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.