Masaba Gupta seems far from the ‘hot mess’ of her character in Masaba Masaba, and more like Saiba of I Love Thane in Modern Love: Mumbai. Her sense of calm, clarity of thought and pragmatic approach to life are a whiff of freshness in a world where people’s ego and arrogance get undue attention. From acknowledging her past “mistakes” and discussing her idea of love to embracing the journey of self-love and managing two careers – Masaba Gupta opens up about it in this Health Shots interview.
The 33-year-old, daughter of veteran actress Neena Gupta (who raised her as a single mother) and cricket legend Vivian Richards, is indeed ‘sharp as a knife’ – whether it’s to do with her work or when it comes to dealing with trolls. She is, as she responded to a recent troll, all about “talent, crazy hard work and wild discipline”!
In this conversation, which followed the love Masaba received for Modern Love, the actress-designer ends up giving several life lessons every women can use in her life! Read on for excerpts from the interview with Masaba Gupta.
Q. What according to you is the major difference between old school love and modern love?
I think it’s the Internet, and the fact that nobody today starts romance with a clean slate in the modern day and age. Before you go to meet a person, you would probably check their Facebook or Instagram profile or you may heard about them from someone or the other. The fact that you’re not really ever getting to know somebody from the scratch is a big difference. Back in the day, because we didn’t have access to so much information, love was truly the process of getting to know someone. It was like, ‘Oh my god, what does this person like? What’s his favourite food? What’s his favourite colour?’ And today when you go on a date, and you’re figuring someone out, you’re like, “Hey, I know you like blue, I read it on your Instagram!’ (laughs).
We have also become a lot more nervous about love. More than the butterflies in the stomach, the nerves have come in the way of a relationship, where you’re like, ‘Is this going fine the way it’s going’, ‘Does this person want to have babies’, ‘Does this person want to get married ever?’ So many conditions have set in with people. Earlier, it was like ‘I love this person, and we will figure it out.’ Today it’s more about ‘These are my conditions, but I also love you. So let’s figure it out!’ That’s a challenge because it comes with two people saying, ‘Listen these are our boundaries. Do we really want to cross them? We don’t know’. Practicality and logic come in the way of your unadulterated love, I think.
Q. How have your growing up years shaped up your current perception of love?
I might have been 12 years old, when I decided that if I let people’s destiny based on whatever happened with not just my parents, but even my parents’ friends, or some cousin or some family member, then I am in trouble. I have discovered that you have to go out there and find your own path, because you are not your mother, your cousin or your friend.
I wanted to go out and decide exactly what point in my life do I want to discover love. I have also been the person who has made the mistakes I have… when you’re under peer pressure, you’re young, you say ‘everyone around me is getting married and I am going to get left behind’, I have also gone through a phase like that. And now I am also going through a phase where I just want to live my life the way I want to live it and I will decide when I want to have a baby or be married to someone.
As a kid, firstly I discovered that you have to take life as it comes. Secondly, I believe that somebody else’s story is not your story. Thirdly, don’t compare! If you decide that ‘Oh my God, my friend has this amazing husband or boyfriend, and I want to have such a relationship’, think about how nobody knows what’s happening inside the house, okay? And lastly, do not take advice from wrong people. If you always ask a person who has had a string of toxic relationships, ‘Is this the right man for me?’, it will always be a toxic feedback.
You just have to find your own way, find your own comfort, and find out what works for you. It can’t be a book, it can’t be a person, it can’t be a quote on Instagram! It’s your life, so you should drive it!
Q. How hard is it in today’s world of beauty and social media to keep it real over fake?
In my head, being authentic and being yourself is the most powerful thing a person can do. It is also very liberating. But at the same time, when you’re sitting in a room full of people sometimes, they might not appreciate that, might take it for granted or they might look at you and not take you seriously, and think you are a frivolous person or judge you. Yes, people can judge you for the emotions you have. I am a very emotional person myself. I’ve spent my whole life taking decisions based on my gut and my emotions.
So, I think I struggle with real versus fake in all aspects of my life, because I want to be real, but sometimes the world demands that you put on a little bit of a face. And I think I’ve got that balance!
Q. You’re very comfortable with the camera capturing your raw beauty. It speaks volumes of how far you have come on the path of self-love. Tell us about the journey.
Self-love is something that happens when you’re not looking. It’s not one of those things that you decide, ‘Okay, I am going to love myself today’, and it will happen tomorrow. It’s a way of life, it’s a course correction where you say to yourself, ‘Each time I lose track of why I love myself, I have to remind myself’.
I have come a long way, but I have an even longer way to go. I can say that the journey has begun, at least.
Watch this Health Shots interview with Masaba Gupta here!
Q. Most of us struggle to manage one career, how do you manage two?
I love work! I just find that it is better than sitting and talking about other people, picking up a bad habit and better than most things in life. I have always been somebody who has liked discipline. It came from the time when I was trying to be a tennis player professionally.
I thrive when I am multitasking, and I manage it because I love it and it keeps me sane. I’ve asked myself, ‘Am I working too much? Am I reaching a point of burnout? Why can’t switch off on a holiday?” But I thrive and I glow when I work. I glow even when I am on a beach, I have my computer on, and I think what are we going to do next! The work-life balance that people talk about… That comes from the work I do.