When I read the headline, “Masaba Gupta says she doesn’t have the guts to have a baby out of wedlock,” the instinctive thought was that is such a tight slap on her mother’s feminism and hard work. But like when the steam blows off and you can see I realised while we hail Neena Gupta for her decision we don’t know the challenges Masaba as a kid faced. We live in a society where deviation from the norm is blasphemy. So, should she be judged for her for what she said?
Daughter of actor Neena Gupta and Caribbean cricketer Vivian Richards Masaba Gupta is a celebrity designer in the country. Her parents never wed. She made her debut as an actor with the OTT show Masaba Masaba last year. Masaba is all set for her second acting show Modern Love: Mumbai. She is part of one of the stories in the anthology.
Masaba Gupta Says Won’t Have A ‘baby out of wedlock’
While promoting the show she spoke to India Express.com about changing times and said, “Accepting is one thing but what happens behind the scenes is something else. You would pass comments like that she slept with someone and had a baby. I read stories of so many single moms who have had kids out of wedlock. They do have to deal with whispers and people talking behind their backs. Nothing has changed with time. Being a modern woman, do I have the guts to have a baby out of wedlock? Never. I don’t want to take that extra pressure, and put a child in that space.”
Being a mother I can assure you that kids understand more than we give them credit for. Her comment is not passing a judgement it comes from the experiences which shaped her childhood. It is her mother who has instilled in her the courage to speak her mind. Our society remains judgmental about women especially when they are single. While we are a country which worships women as goddesses they are not respected as women especially when they challenge patriarchal norms. A woman having a child outside wedlock makes society uncomfortable as it subverts the male authority over a woman. A child outside marriage is considered illegitimate.
Masaba Gupta is a star child and the kind of public life that the celebrities have to live in our country can be unnerving for a child. We are all the obsession with Tim and Jeh. Just a few days ago Ira Khan was being trolled for wearing a bikini in front of her father Aamir Khan at her birthday pool party. She is 26 years old, at home with her parents celebrating her birthday by the pool! Everything a celebrity does or says is the news and the internet laps it up. Are Masaba Gupta’s concerns about unnecessary stress entirely misplaced?
In our society marriage provides validity and a sanction to procreate the idea of sex outside of wedlock is still looked down upon. Actor Kalki Koechlin announcing she is five months pregnant also caused a huge uproar. As a society, we need to accept that a child does not choose their family it is the other way round. So there is no way a child can be illegitimate. So let the parent decide what works for them.
The views expressed are the author’s own.