Sach Kahun Toh (An Autobiography)

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Item Code: NBZ498
Author: Neena Gupta
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9780670095278
Pages: 314 (Throughout Color & B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 9.50 X 6.00 inch
Weight 540 gm
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Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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23 years in business
Book Description
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
About the Book

In her witty, hilarious and unapologetically honest autobiography, actor and 'original rebel' Neena Gupta chronicles her childhood days in Delhi's Karol Bagh, through her time at the National School of Drama, moving to Bombay in the 1980s and dealing with the struggles to find work. She details the big milestones in her life, her unconventional pregnancy and single parenthood, and a successful second innings in Bollywood.

The book addresses issues like casting couch and industry politics, and shows us how a young actor can survive without a godfather or guide. It also reveals why Gupta quit working with a popular TV channel, and offers an account of the trials and tribulations she went through until she bagged her breakthrough role in Badhaai Ho. Sach Kahan Toh is a candid, self-deprecating portrait of the person behind the persona, detailing her life's many choices, her battles against stereotypes, then and now, and how she may not be as unconventional as people think her to be.

About the Author

NEENA GUPTA is a two-time National Award-winning actor, film-maker, producer and television personality. She started her career in Delhi's booming theatre scene in the 1980s but decided to switch to film and television after acting in the 1982 Academy award-winning Gandhi. She went on to star in several critically acclaimed television shows such as Khandaan and Mirza Ghalib. She also worked extensively in art-house and independent films such as Mandi, Trikal and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. Neena has directed, produced and acted in several television shows, including Saans, Siski and Son Pari. Her most recent works include award-winning performances in Badhaai Ho, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, Panchayat, The Last Colour and Masaba Masaba.


`When will you write a book about your life?' I would often be asked by friends, family and the media.

`Maybe soon,' I'd respond while actually thinking, 'Maybe never.' For the longest time I didn't think I had anything to say that deserved its own book. The few times I did sit down to write, I gave up for several reasons.

I didn't want to hurt the children or grandchildren of the people I would probably mention in my book.

I didn't want the world to know my family's dark secrets.

I didn't want anyone to speculate even further about my motivations or the decisions I have taken in my life.

And, deep down, I honestly didn't think my life story was good enough to deserve its own book.

Sometimes, I get very angry when I read about myself in the papers. The image the media and my fans have of me is very different from who I am.

Neena Gupta, the actor, director, producer and public personality is described as strong, honest (to a fault) and unbothered by societal pressures.

The original rebel, they still say, because I brought a child into this world out of wedlock. Unapologetic, they write, because I have made no attempts to hide my relationships. Self-confident, they reason, because I always hold my head high.

The media doesn't know me. Nobody knows the real me.

But writing a book would mean opening up and revealing my deepest, darkest secrets to the world. It would mean publishing all the mistakes I have made in my life. Revealing that I let men walk all over me. Confessing on paper that the strong, confident and self-assured Neena Gupta actually suffers from a severe lack of self-esteem. She's flawed. Chipped. Broken.

`But you know, your story could inspire people who have also suffered and are still suffering,' my friends would tell me.

An inspiration? Me? 'What could I say that could inspire someone? Again, you see, I didn't have a high opinion of myself.

But in the first half of 2020, when the country went into a lockdown to battle the COVID-19 crisis, I found myself in Mukteshwar, a beautiful, scenic village in Uttarakhand. It was peaceful, serene and absolutely breathtaking. It was here I realized I had nothing to do other than battle my own thoughts. I started to reflect on and relive my life's journey.

Taking long, leisurely walks every day, appreciating the sounds of the birds and basking in the chill of the mountain air, I would ask myself, 'Why should I write a book? What do I have to say that could help and inspire someone?'

And I realized two things that made me feel immensely hopeful. Why should I write a book?

Because, sometimes, it's very therapeutic to read about someone else's ups and downs. About their falls and failures and how they picked themselves back up and moved on. When saas-bahu serials hit television screens in the early 2000s, there were lots of people who said, 'Gosh. What rubbish is this.' But they were a minority because the majority loved these shows. Their lives and financial circumstances may have been different, but they identified with the characters. The dutiful bahu, the conniving bua, the evil saas and the dedicated husband, who was caught in the middle of it all. People would watch them because they wanted to see what the characters would do next, how they would get out of bad situations, and felt inspired that perhaps they too could overcome the problems that plagued their lives.

The other reason was that I could not keep things bottled up any more. The many incidents in my life have either made me stronger or broken me, and I honestly needed to purge myself by getting it out. I knew reflecting about my life, journey and the things I've had to overcome would make me feel better and lighter.

For the longest time, I told myself that I was not good enough. But that ends here and now with this book, because I am good enough and I want people, especially women, to know that if, despite my flaws, my broken relationships and circumstances, I could get up, get going and look really good while doing it, so can you!

So why would anyone want to read about me? Because I have something to say and for the first time in my life, I'm going to share it with the world.

My life's journey, not narrated by the media, but by Neena Gupta, herself.

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