Veteran actor-director Neena Gupta came out with her autobiography "Sach Kahun Toh" – an honest tell-all tale about her life, chronicling her professional highs and personal lows.
Published by Random House India, the book touches upon several milestones of Gupta's life, from her unconventional pregnancy, single parenthood to a successful comeback in Bollywood.
It addresses issues like casting couch, film industry politics, and also talks about what it takes for a young actor to survive without a godfather or guide.
Neena shared a shocking incident in the book stating that a renowned South producer offered her to spend the night with him.
She mentioned that he called her to his hotel which was close to Mumbai’s Prithvi theatre where she used to perform.
Gupta wrapped up her schedule and called him from the lobby phone. However, he asked her to come upstairs.
"My basic instinct told me to not go upstairs. That I should ask him to come down to the lobby instead," wrote Neena.
She went upstairs where he made her sit on a sofa and spoke to her about the several heroines, he had launched in the South film industry. He offered her to play the protagonist's friend. "When he explained it to me, I seemed like a very small part," she wrote.
Expressing her disinterest in the role, she told the producer that she had to go.
"'Go? Where?" he asked. He seemed genuinely shocked. 'Aren't you going to spend the night here?' Suddenly, I felt like someone had just poured a bucket of ice water on my head. Khoon sookh gaya (My blood froze)," wrote Gupta.
Neena further added that the producer took her bag, thrust it in her arms and said that she could leave and that no one for forcing her, following which the actress ran out.
During an Instagram video chat with actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, who launched the book, Gupta said she has been writing the autobiography for 20 years and would often wonder if people were even interested in reading about her.
"I would start and wonder, 'What is there to write about my life? Why would people be interested in reading it?' Then the lockdown happened... And I did a lot of thinking about my life and decided to resume writing again.
"Everything is out of my system now. Things I was hiding for so many years. That's a big relief. I think, may be after reading the book, even if one person doesn't make the mistake which I did, if they feel 'yeah, we should not do this', it'll be worth it," Gupta said.
According to the publishing house, the book will share Gupta's life story in the most "unapologetically honest" manner, from her time at National School of Drama (NSD) to moving to Bombay (Mumbai) in the 80s and her single parenthood.