Recently, we stumbled over Satish Kaushik’s opening up about his friendship with Neena Gupta and we couldn’t applaud their 45-year-old friendship that withstood the test of time.
While talking about his friendship and why he had offered to marry Neena Gupta when she was pregnant with daughter Masaba out of wedlock, Satish Kaushik mentioned,
“Our friendship dates back to 1975 and the bond has been strong ever since. We fondly called each other Nancy and Kaushikan. I have known her family, too. We lived close by in Karol Bagh, Delhi. We were together at Delhi University and were quite active in theatre. Neena jab mere college aati thi, toh hamaare yahaan toh hungama mach jaata tha (laughs!). She impressed everyone even then — with her views and the way she carried herself.”
He continued, “She later joined NSD, a couple of years after me. We struggled in our respective ways to make a mark in the film industry. We also did several films together, like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Mandi, and Teree Sang. Though we got busy in our film journeys, whenever we met, it was like a walk down memory lane. I have always applauded and respected Nancy for the way she bravely faced the challenges in her life, especially when she was pregnant with Masaba.”
He was among the few friends who were privy to Neena’s pregnancy. He stated, “I used to appreciate the fact that a girl at that time decided to have a child out of wedlock. As a true friend, I simply stood by her and gave her confidence. Whatever you are reading in the memoir, it was all an expression of my affection for her as a friend. I was concerned about not letting her feel alone. At the end of the day, that’s what friends are for, right?”
He further added, “As mentioned in the book, when I offered to marry her, it was a mix of humour, concern, respect, and support for my best friend in her time of need. I told her, ‘Main hoon na, tu chinta kyu karti hai?’ She was moved by the gesture and was in tears. From that day onwards, our friendship grew stronger. I am happy and proud that she is doing so well as an actor. She is a symbol of a strong woman in our society. She is now happily married to a great guy and a successful entrepreneur, Vivek Mehra and he is a great friend, too.”
He revealed that he knew that Neena was going to talk about what had happened to the world. He said, “She told me that she was writing about her life and if I had any objection. I replied, ‘Likh tu araam se. No problem’. I salute Nancy and the journey she has had.” He added, “My wife, Shashi, knows about my equation with Neena, who is a regular at our home. She understands and respects our friendship.”
It is quite amazing how Satish Kaushik and Neena Gupta managed to be friends for 45 long years. We wish them good luck and hope their friendship keep inspiring many more to build friendships that withstand the test of time!