The Instagram account of House of Masaba, a clothing brand by fashion designer Masaba Gupta, bursts with bright colors and eclectic prints. I’ve always loved the clothes and find Masaba’s ideas and designs fascinating. Masaba, whose father is West Indies cricketing great Viv Richards, has had an intriguing life, growing up as a half-black girl with a single mom in India. She has been vocal about being bullied in school and applying makeup on the sly to change her skin tone—the butt of ridicule.
On the other hand, I grew up watching my mother watch Neena Gupta, Masaba’s mother, on television. More recently, some of her films have made me realize what a wonderful, albeit underrated, actor she is. She also frequently showcases clothes from Masaba’s label on her social media accounts. In her interviews, Masaba talks about her mother being a strong support and influence in her life.
Both the Gupta ladies are talented, fascinating, and inspiring. It’s no wonder Netflix decided to bring the two dynamic women together in a series, ‘Masaba Masaba’. Here, they play themselves in a fictionalized setting inspired by their lives, which provide enough fodder for good content.
The show touches on the duo’s personal journeys so far, from Masaba’s divorce and business struggles to Neena’s attempt to get good roles in the film industry. It also gives you an insight into Masaba’s work life. The best part is definitely Masaba’s equation with her mother. The mother-daughter scenes are much more enjoyable than when they have their individual stories going on. Masaba’s many ‘foot in the mouth’ moments, as well as exasperation with the world around her, are relatable, especially if you are someone who is always speaking your mind.
One of my favorite bits in the series is the song ‘Aunty Kisko Bole Be?’ Not only does it have a catchy tune and is brilliantly shot, the song also tries to portray the younger generation’s attitude towards older women.
Writer-director Sonam Nair has kept the story peppy and fresh. Nothing is over the top. Masaba, it turns out, takes after her mother and is a good actor. Masaba’s best friend in the series, Jia Irani, played by Rytasha Rathore, is endearing and reminds us of our best friend who is annoying, loving, and scary at the same time. Pooja Bedi, as Masaba’s life coach, makes you giggle with her silly antics, mostly revolving around her supposedly cheating husband.
There are other celebrities like Kiaraa Advani, Farah Khan, Malavika Mohanan, Gajraj Rao, and Mithila Palkar, who appear as themselves in the series. Though all of them have brief roles, they all feel imperative to the story.
I highly recommend Masaba Masaba. It’s breezy and light but also with moments that will have you contemplate on your own life. And because it has just six half-hour episodes, you can actually binge watch, without the guilt of having spent so much time glued to the screen at the end of it.
Who should watch it?
Fashion enthusiasts and fans of Neena Gupta will enjoy Masaba Masaba. Though the series is named after the daughter, it’s the mother who shines. The senior Gupta is such a natural actor. She can make a scene come alive by simply being in the frame.