Entertainment Bollywood 25 Nov 2021 Lara Dutta talks abo ...

Lara Dutta talks about dating at 40

Published Nov 25, 2021, 7:52 pm IST
Updated Nov 28, 2021, 3:43 pm IST
The actress makes web-series debut with a unique show where she’s playing a desperate single mother who seeks a partner through a dating app
Lara Dutta
 Lara Dutta

Lara Dutta’s show titled Hiccups Hookups, directed by Kunal Kohli, is about a single mother Vasudha, who seeks a partner through a dating app, even as her 18-year-old daughter is updating her profile on the very app. This dysfunctional–no-filter family, comprising a single mother, her brother and daughter, take on everything under the sun.

We speak to Lara about her role in the series and her thoughts on dating for women at 40. She talks about  the dating arena, how women at 40 navigate their life, choosing relationships (frivolous and casual one-night stands or serious, compatible ones), etc. But unlike her character in the series, does Lara think a single woman at 40 has the right to live her life and seek new beginnings?
Excerpts from an interview:


What is Hiccups & Hookups about?

It’s about a no-filter family, a first-of-its-kind show in India, which I believe will open new vistas for such unique content. Single mother Vasu, who’s 40 and separated from her husband of 19 years, shares an open relationship with her brother and 18-year-old daughter Kay. The relationship has been explored completely on screen in a fun, contemporary and an interesting manner. Both mother and daughter get on the same dating app, each seeking a partner. I love how the daughter in the series pushes the mother to follow her passion, saying “Mama, your life is just beginning again.”


But women can also fall prey to wrong men on such apps

Yes. But after 40, you can navigate your life. You’re not a teenager. You know yourself though you may or may not know about others. You know your likes and dislikes and what you want. If you seek a frivolous relationship, be clear that what you want is something casual — and that you’re not looking for a life partner. Or understand that you seek more than a casual hook-up or a one-night stand — someone who understands you and is compatible — something stable. I think it’s wonderful because you get to date with far more maturity than you did when you were in your teens and 20s. You may make mistakes, but that’s fine — you just get back up and try again. Sometimes, you’ll get it right and sometimes not.


So you think if men can turn naughty at 40 then so can women at 40?

Society has never allowed us to discuss the idea of what the life of a 40-year-old single woman can be. It’s assumed that if you’ve come out of a marriage, you must get married again — you cannot look for casual relationships. Unfortunately, society has constantly dictated that women don’t have the right to even think about this. Even if you have desire, you’re forced to bury it and prioritise your children before yourself. Sadly, this is the real scenario in the life of women who turn 40.


You think it is good for a couple to part ways if they are incompatible?

I think it’s better to walk away if you can’t live amicably under the same roof. For the longest time, society has dictated terms especially to women: “Life is not fair; there are ups and downs in every relationship. Suck it up and deal with it.”

Sometimes, it becomes easier for men to continue staying in his marriage. But he has his relationships outside. It’s not an easy decision for a woman to step out of marriage for multiple reasons — either financial security or because she believes her children need her to continue in the bad marriage. But a woman who finds the courage to leave a bad marriage needs a strong support system — be it through her family or kids.


What’s happening at your home production? Any particular genre you’re keen on?

We’ve been trying since the COVID. I’m also a very hands-on producer to the dismay of my colleagues in the company. I like to be involved in every step of filmmaking. So for me, it’s not churning out one after the other. I want something very satisfying, which makes me feel excited. I like sitting in on the writing process and casting and all of that. It’s happening although it’ll happen at its own pace. I’m seeking a genre that essentially originates from India but has a global voice, so I can do it internationally.


Do you agree that nothing can replace cinema?

Cinema is an integral part of our culture; you cannot take it away from us. In terms of entertainment, it’s our lifeline. While times have changed, it’s very exciting to see all the new types of content. The new crop of actors/directors is going at a faster pace, and the consumption is much faster. I honestly feel March–April 2022 is going to be a boom period, especially because we have had 2 difficult years.