One of the most fascinating mother-daughter duos in film industry, Neena and Masaba Gupta have always pushed the envelope in their professional and personal lives. Neena has always owned who she is and how she chose to live her life and continues to enthral us with her exceptional acting chops.
Her daughter Masaba has definitely inherited her mother’s ability to live life on her own terms. From schooling trolls on issues like racism and body image to running a multi-million dollar fashion empire, Masaba does it all in a day’s work. Fortunately, Asian Paints’ Where the Heart Is Season 3, allows us an unprecedented glimpse into the life of this empowered and inspiring duo.
In one of her earlier interviews, Neena Gupta had said, “Collect your scars and build them into something beautiful”, and her sun-soaked, seaside apartment in Juhu is a testament to that. While people usually choose a house that’s quiet and peaceful, Masaba and Neena actually chose their apartment because of the hustle and bustle that surrounded it. And of course, because it looks right onto the sea.
When Masaba says at the start of the show, “Home is where I shed my skin”, we already know that their home isn’t going to be the usual rich and fabulous apartment, overflowing with artefacts and furnishings. If anything, minimalism is the overarching theme that runs through every single room in this house. From the bare, white walls, to the large unadorned windows, everything in the house emanates simplicity and calm.
Just because the house isn’t flooded with home decor, doesn’t mean that the duo doesn’t have an outstanding collection of artefacts. In fact, because there are such few items, each piece stands out; with a place of pride and a unique backstory. So there’s a beautiful antique chaukhat that serves as a frame for a lone paintbrush; one that’s a personal gift from M.F. Hussain and has been signed by the artist. There are posters of Neena’s latest films and you can see first-hand the pride she takes in her second innings in Indian cinema. There’s also a beautiful painting by Lalita Lajmi, the first “expensive” painting that Neena ever bought, and one that remains very precious even today. There’s also a beautiful white antique carving that was a gift from none other than Shyam Benegal, back in the Yatra days.
Yet, the charm of the Gupta home lies in the sense of comfort, peace, and ease that it brings. So there’s Neena’s “corner” where she has her morning tea, and which she’s loath to give up, even when guests come over. And then there’s Masaba’s lounge, her area where she can feel the fresh ocean breeze, look at the trees outside, and just be.
Of course, it’s hard to imagine that people as unconventional as Neena and Masaba Gupta wouldn’t have anything quirky in their home. So of course, there’s a beautiful old-style green door which opens into their dressing room, a set of vintage almirahs that have moved with Neena as she’s changed homes over the years, and a quirky wooden fixture on the dressing room wall where Neena displays all her bangles.
Masaba sums up the home tour in the best possible way when she says, “Homes are filled with who you are, as opposed to things.” And the Gupta home truly comes alive in the small moments— whether it’s a gossip session in the living room, a gathering of friends and loved ones, or a shared meal on the dining table. This mother-daughter duo’s home is an expression of their personalities in every possible way. It’s minimalistic but warm, simple but vintage; and most importantly it’s full of light, laughter, and peace.