Many believed the Netflix show Masaba Masaba was just a one-off thing for Masaba Gupta. The celebrity designer, however, has proved them wrong and is now all set with her second full-fledged acting project Modern Love Mumbai. Masaba is paired with Rithvik Bhowmick in the short ‘I love Thane’ that has been helmed by Dhruv Sehgal. An Indian adaptation of the internationally acclaimed anthology will also include five more shorts featuring the likes of Pratik Gandhi, Arshad Warsi and Fatima Sana Shaikh among others.
While interacting with indianexpress.com about her short film, Masaba said she ‘tasted blood’ on the sets of her semi-biographical drama series. “I did start to enjoy acting but honestly didn’t think something like this would come about. The film is about me and everyone I am interacting with. I think I just tasted blood on the set of Masaba Masaba. Acting is exciting, different and quite cool. I enjoy it way too much, actually as much as I love running my business,” she quipped with a smile.
The film will see Masaba playing Saiba, who is on the lookout for a modern man. As she interacts with men on an online dating app, she comes across someone who breaks the mould and emerges as a timeless man. For Masaba, however, a perfect man is a mix of modern and timeless. “One has to be in touch with their ethics, culture and morals, things that we have grown up with. A modern or timeless man should be able to change with time and adapt to things. They should be fluid.”
As for what sets love apart in modern times, the designer-turned actor said that now both partners expect to be given a seat at the table. She added that earlier, men would be decision-makers, and even though relationships would be flawed, people would carry on with them. “Today, one has the option to walk out, in a good or bad way. Also, times have changed and so have gender rules. Today, men are okay with being house-husbands and dads, as are women. More importantly, women are independent, they have financial independence. They share equal responsibility and goals in life.”
Given the term ‘modern’ is usually used in a negative sense, we quizzed Masaba if she ever had to face the brunt for being modern. With a loud laugh, she said, “All the time, my mother was called a modern woman. When she made Saans, it was called modern, and ahead of time. I have been tagged too modern for being born out of wedlock. Honestly, it’s wonderful to be modern but there’s no size that fits everyone. I think the responsibility of being modern is to be accepting, however, we have become more intolerant. I think we are going back in time.”
She added that even today, a child born out of wedlock would be looked at differently. “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.”
Be it Masaba or even her mother Neena Gupta, they have been lucky to find love again in life. Discussing how one has to be vulnerable to let another person enter their life, the designer said, “One has to allow themselves to be real. People nowadays play games or just try to hold themselves back. I am always myself and if I feel like talking, I would. I am always very real. Not just a relationship but anything new that one has to go in, they would have to do it with an open heart. That’s how you truly allow the universe to rush in.”
Starting May 13, Modern Love Mumbai will stream on Amazon Prime Video.