Actor Sanjay Dutt says he tried to find humour in the mundaneness of prison life
Sanjay Dutt speaks at an Off the Cuff event in Mumbai | Source: Vasant Prabhu/ThePrint
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Sanjay Dutt’s life was a mix of LSD and an affair with Tina during the shoot of his first movie Rocky. Read this excerpt from Yaseer Usman’s book Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story of Bollywood’s Bad Boy.

The planning and preparation for the shooting of Rocky was in full swing. Sunil Dutt was leaving no stone unturned in his quest to direct a power-packed debut film for his son.
Sanjay, however, was on his own trip. Acid would give him an amazing high after which his mind would get slow and fuzzy and at times he would start to hallucinate. Sanjay recalled a hilarious incident from those days that shows how little Sunil knew what his son was up to: ‘I had popped in some acid, LSD. It’s called purple haze. It kind of hits you after a while.’

Sanjay was sitting alone in his room, waiting for the drug to kick in. Suddenly the house
phone rang. It was the operator from Sunil’s office. He told Sanjay that his dad wanted to speak with him. ‘He said office aa jao. [Come to the office.]’ Sanjay wanted to refuse,
knowing that the LSD was about to kick in. But Sunil was adamant – he needed to meet Sanjay urgently. Perhaps he wanted to talk about the shooting schedule for Rocky.

As Sanjay reached his father’s office, the LSD started to take effect. Remembering that evening, Sanjay said, ‘So Dad is talking to me and it [the LSD] suddenly hit me.
He is talking to me and I could hear “waannrr . . . einn [gibberish]!” Now I am saying to myself, “Sanju, you’re tripping. Just take it easy. Just keep nodding.” So I kept
nodding and I kept hearing him like “aannoonn . . . aann [gibberish]!”’

On the other side of the table, an irritated Sunil just thought Sanjay seemed uninterested in the conversation. Then Sanjay started to hallucinate: ‘All of a sudden I see a wig come out of his head and that wig caught fire . . . And I am looking at him and thinking what the hell is happening, man!’ Sanjay wanted to save his father before the flames engulfed him.

Another part of his mind kept reminding him that he was just tripping. But soon enough
he lost all touch with reality. ‘Dad started melting like wax. He was like a candle.’ Sanjay ‘dived on him’ and tried to ‘put his face together’. He screeched ‘Dad! Dad! Don’t die
on me. Don’t melt.’

But Sunil still didn’t get it. Worried witless, he just yelled in Punjabi, ‘Ki hoya . . . ki hoya yaar mere puttar nu? [What’s happened? What’s happened to my son?]’

Sanjay explains, ‘At that time nobody knew what these things were. There were no treatment centres. My father didn’t know, my sisters didn’t know, friends didn’t know.
Nobody knew what is this powder.’ Sanjay was slipping badly. He needed help.

During the schedule in Kashmir though, Sanjay had managed to temporarily reduce his drug intake. He was fearful of his father’s constant presence at the shoot. He also wanted to control his drug dependency for the sake of his career. But that was easier said than done. Once he returned to Mumbai, Sanjay was back on drugs. But in addition to this addiction, Sanjay had a new obsession in his life – Tina.

He was in love. Soon he began to date Tina, and the news of the new young lovebirds spread. A co-star who worked with Sanjay in those initial years recalled that he
and Tina were inseparable.

The corridors and make-up rooms of Seth Studio and Mehboob Studio and the film
units working there were witness to their closeness. If either was shooting there, the other would turn up. In 1981 Tina told an interviewer, ‘I tell him the kind of things that girls
normally tell their boyfriends – that if we part, I will die or commit suicide or kill myself for him, and the rest of those childish things . . . I know what I want from life . . .We care for each other very deeply, and I wish that we are able to work things out in the long run.’

‘I remember bumping into Sanjay and Tina in Juhu at Sun-n-Sand. They were so young, almost teenagers. Sanjay was a brat. He was fond of drinking and we in the industry
knew that he is into drugs too. But I think initially Tina had no clue about the drug part. Both appeared lovestruck and Sanju was a very, very possessive boyfriend . . . possessive to the level of being obsessive,’ remembered a film producer.

But back then when Sanjay was asked if he was a possessive, interfering boyfriend, he replied, ‘Frankly, I have never interfered in my girlfriend’s career, except in the matter of her clothes. I am very possessive about her. She is mine and I don’t like her to expose herself on screen. That’s exactly where my interest in her career ends . . . I don’t want her to quit for another three years, for that’s when I intend to get married. I want her to enjoy life and do whatever she wants to do till then.’

Excerpted with permission from Juggernaut

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