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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

‘Masaba Is In Touch With Her Father Viv Richards’ - Neena Gupta

Vivek Mehra, Neena’s daughter Masaba and Neena Gupta, after the Neena-Vivek wedding ceremony

After decades of solitude, actress-director Neena Gupta has finally found marital bliss with Vivek Mehra, a partner at PriceWaterHouse-Coopers. However, Neena's new-found happiness is clouded what with Neena's daughter Masaba refusing to move into Neena's new household. Apparently, 19-year-old Masaba, who's as self-willed as her mother, has made it clear to her mother, in no uncertain terms, that she will not accompany Neena to her stepfather's family home in Delhi. Now begins the real struggle to bring together the two most important people in her life - her daughter and her husband.

Neena, who doesn't have much of a career left in Mumbai, would happily settle down in domestic bliss in Delhi. But Masaba remains her priority and she has made that very clear to her husband.
Speaking on the subject, Neena says, "As much as I am thrilled with the new development in my life, Masaba still remains my priority. She is studying fashion designing in Mumbai and I cannot leave her alone. So I guess I'll be shuttling between Delhi and Mumbai."

What she leaves unspoken is the fact that Neena is completely enamoured by her new role as a wife. "My marriage to Vivek was not a cakewalk. We were seeing each other for six years, before tying the knot as his divorce had to come through first. However, the marriage definitely caught me off-guard. We had gone to the US to attend his nephew's engagement, when he sprang a surprise wedding on me. There was a pundit, a fire, the works," she giggles.

For the first time Neena, who was till now content leading the hermetic life of a single mother, has discovered the joys of living in a large joint family.

She says, "Vivek's family in Delhi brims over with warmth. They have welcomed me with open arms and have made me feel a part of their family in such a short span of time. I just love the hustle-bustle of the ladies in the house and am looking forward to being part of it."

However, Masaba a stubborn young Scorpio is not quite ready to move out of her comfort zone and step into Neena's marital euphoria. Apparently, the sensitive girl is still desirous of reaching out to her biological father, the former West Indian cricketer Vivian Richards.

Speaking on her daughter's father for the first time, Neena confesses, "Yes, Masaba is in touch with Viv. He is her father, after all. Vivek and Masaba are friends. Masaba and I have known Vivek for six years now so there's a great deal of comfort level between us although the relationship between Vivek and Masaba cannot be defined at the moment."

While Masaba comes to terms with the new development in her mother's life, Neena has no choice but to wait it out, and continue to make Mumbai her home-base.

She admits she doesn't have much of a career in Mumbai. She says, "The television channels do not want the air serials that I like to do. And I don't want to do what they're asking. So there's a kind of dead-end in my career on television. The audience still connects with me and Kanwaljeet through my serial Saans. But where is the opportunity to make something like that? But Kanwaljeet and I are being brought into a serial as a couple."

In addition, Neena has two films up for release. She informs, "I play Mithun Chakraborty's wife in Veer and a pivotal role in Aijaz Khan's The White Elephant. I will also be directing a film very soon. The script should be ready in a couple of weeks. I'll play the lead."

Meanwhile, at 49, Neena is playing a different lead in her newly-married life.

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