I am so glad Neena Gupta sent me her autobiography, Sach Kahun Toh. I had no intention of reading it. I had given up on star-biographies. Bollywood actors are no strangers to concealing the truth. Some of them can’t tell the difference between a truth and a lie. Many of them have chosen to conveniently forget scandalous incidents from the past.
I remember once I made bold to ask an actor about his much talked-about relationship with an actress. He had dismissed it as “nonsense, a figment of the media’s imagination. You know how the media is. Who would know better?”
So convincing was his act of repudiation that I began to question the veracity of the rumours that we had been hearing for years. But then the actress whom he was supposedly involved with, would call me up and whisper about the time and content of my conversations with the actor. How did she know about them?!
Actors (and I include actresses in this group) are too vain to write honestly about their lives. They fabricate their own version of the truth. The worst example of such (anything but sach) delusional memoirs was the super-iconic Vyjanthimala who denied having anything to do with Raj Kapoor during the time they shot Sangam together.
Never one to mince words, Rishi Kapoor had refuted the actress’ claim. And then there was another legendary actress whose husband, a legend in his own right, has “forbidden” her from writing about her life, as it would expose his life and the affairs that he had with some of Indian cinema’s most beautiful actresses he worked with.
“Kuch baatein likhne ke liye nahin hoti,” this legend once told me. Right. When you have skeletons in your cupboard don’t write books, make films about fictional people. Leave the honesty to lesser mortals.
This is where Neena Gupta scores big. Sach Kahun Toh doesn’t have a single deceitful page in its spine. It is lucid and free-flowing with the memories forming an anxious queue to make themselves heard. Neena just lets her thoughts take their own course. She is neither in a hurry nor anxious to make herself heard. The more media-covered incidents in her life are written about with as much care and warmth as family details.
The only other Bollywood personality whose life was covered as honestly as Neena’s was Shatrughan Sinha. In Anything But Khamosh by Bharathi S Pradhan, Shatrughan Sinha spoke about his long affair with Reena Roy which nearly destroyed his relationship with his wife, then-girlfriend Poonam Chandiramani.
I dare any other major actor to come forward to speak about their affair(s). Oh wait, sorry, they never had any. It was all manufactured by the media.
Image source: Instagram/neena_gupta