News East West
MUMBAI: Neena Gupta, who became the first celebrity unwed mother 26 years ago when she gave birth to her daughter Masaba with cricket legend Vivian Richards, says that she did it by choice.
But it was a wrong decision, she says, adding that if you want to live in India you should marry.
As she turns 60, Neena tells Bombay Times in an interview that “it was a wrong decision, as it is very difficult to bring up a child alone. You make a child suffer due to your wish and whim. Child does not have that side of the family.’’
Neena, who married Delhi chartered accountant Vivek Mehra in 2008, says that she was warned by her friends not to go ahead with the pregnancy. “But I was young and had the nasha, so did it,” Neena says in the interview.
She says that though her father was deadly opposed to her decision to go ahead with her pregnancy, “once he knew that I had decided, he stood by me like a rock.”
In the interview, Neena says, “If you want to live in India and in society, you have to marry. Do not be this modern woman that I was, saying I don’t believe in marriage. You have to marry. I told Masaba when she fell in love with Madhu Mantena, ‘You are not shifting there till you marry him.’ ”
Masaba, who has just married filmmaker Madhu Mantena, says she is very much attached to her father Vivian Richards whom she visits three to four times a year.
On her parents not getting married, Masaba says in the interview that in her dad’s Caribbean people can have kids with multiple partners without getting married. Richards, who is separated from his wife, currently lives with a girlfriend.
But Masaba says she is grateful that her parents didn’t marry because their marriage “would have ended in a disaster.’’
Masaba says Viv Richards looks strong only from the outside. “But he is a puppy inside.’’