Actress Neena Gupta is happy to have found marital bliss after years of solitude, but maintains that her 19-year-old daughter Masaba, with former West Indies cricketer Vivian Richards, is her "top priority".
Apparently Masaba has made it clear that she won't accompany her mother and her new husband Vivek Mehra, a partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers, to his family home in New Delhi.
Neena, who doesn't have much of a career in Mumbai now, would happily settle down in Delhi, but has told her husband that Masaba is her priority.
"Much as I'm thrilled with the new developments in my life, Masaba is my top concern. She always will be. I can't leave her alone in Mumbai where she is studying fashion designing. So I guess I'll be shuttling between Delhi and Mumbai," Neena told IANS.
The actress, who tied the knot in the US on July 15, reveals that getting married wasn't that easy.
"Vivek and I were seeing each other for six years. But his divorce had to come through before we could make it legal. The marriage took me completely by surprise. We had gone to the US to attend his nephew's engagement, when he sprang a surprise wedding on me. There was a pundit, a fire and the works..."
Neena, a single mother for long, admits that she has now discovered the joys of a large joint family.
"Vivek's family in Delhi brims over with warmth. They've welcomed me with open arms, made me feel a part of the family in no time. I just love the hustle-bustle of the ladies in the house and would love to be part of it."
However, Masaba is not quite ready to make a move into Neena's marital bliss and she still often reaches out to her father Vivian Richards, though Neena says her daughter and Vivek are "close".
"Vivek and Masaba are friends, yes. Both me and Masaba have known Vivek for six years. So there's a great deal of comfort. But Masaba is in touch with Viv. He is her father. But Vivek is very close to Masaba. Their relationship cannot be defined at the moment, though she's very fond of him."
While Masaba comes to terms with the new developments in her mother's life, Neena has no choice but to wait it out and continue to make Mumbai her home base. But she admits she doesn't have much work in Mumbai.
"The TV channels don't want what I want to do. And I don't want to do what they want me to. So there's a kind of a dead-end in my career on television. People still remember me and Kanwaljeet in my serial 'Saans'. But where is the opportunity now to make something like that?"
But that doesn't stop Neena from acting and she has two films up for release.
"I play Mithun Chakbraborty's wife in 'Veer' and a pivotal role in Aijaz Khan's 'The White Elephant'. I'm also finally directing. The script should be ready in a couple of weeks. I'll play the lead."
Indo-Asian News Service