So Rajkumar Hirani has finally come clean about the whitewashing. “Tweaked Sanju to make Sanjay Dutt more likeable,” he said not so recently at a sit down with film buffs. Frankly, there are so many stories around Dutt and his days when he struggled with the infamous AK 56, which tied him up to the 1993 Mumbai blasts, that it would be difficult even for an established filmmaker like Raju to do justice to all of them. But here’s a story that is widely discussed among Sanju’s many admirers in the industry. Dutt’s first night in jail and the people who tried to kill him.
(Picture courtesy: Instagram)
An insider tells us that this is a story that Dutt seldom talks about. Only when he is among close friends and in the mood to chat does this story come alive. “He had not slept for 48 hours, the seriousness of the situation had got to him. The biggest film star of Indian cinema then had become enemy of the state as soon as reports tying him to the blasts and his arrest started trickling in,” says his friend of decades. A popular industry kid who refused to be named.
(Picture courtesy: Instagram)
We have met this kid at an informal environment so the obvious first question from a journo on which jail this was, goes unnoticed. Deliberate perhaps but the talk continues. Was it the first night at the Crowford market police station lockup or the Arthur Road Jail, we are confused but the story is too consuming even if it sounds like a fable from the man who’s confidence can be best described as feeble.
“As he walked into the cell assigned to him, fellow inmates made sure that he knew about the situation he had got himself into. ‘Dekh Dawood ka aadmi aa gayla hai. Isko aaj raat he khatam karne ka hai (look Dawood’s man is here he has to be killed tonight).’ He tells us,” says the friend.
“Sanju was completely shaken. He had heard stories about how cells magically open sometimes. There were other places in the set up where he could be cornered too. There was no way that he would survive this and the best bet was to stay awake. Cry out for help if the situation changed for the worse.”
“So he chose a corner of the cell, and decided not to sleep. The men who had threatened him were Arun Gawli’s men, they were clearly miffed with the attacks on the city,” said the source.
“Sanju had not slept in two days. The interrogation was gruelling. He knew that he wasn’t a crowd favourite at that point. No matter how much he tried to ignore the catcalls and the hooting, the threats continued. Men shouting, some abusing him, others just wanting to know if he really had a scene (not the word they used) with Madhuri.”
A tired Sanju was fighting a losing battle against his body and eyes who were aching to shut down.
“He woke up to the shadows of men standing in front of him. Dutt says he was too scared to open his eyes and had given up on a fight. Accepted his fate,” we are told.
But the final blow didn’t come. Instead, Dutt found these men talking to him in Punjabi.
“Can you believe his luck. There were these inmates from Punjab who were lodged in the same place. And they weren’t Sanjay Dutt fans either. It was Sunil Dutt that they digged,” he quips. “They told him that as long as he was there he had nothing to worry. They were huge fans of Sunil Dutt saab and would protect him against inmate violence.”
At this point the people listening to this story change the topic to why Sanju may have become the man he is today, his many women, his romp with drugs and of course his days in Jail. But Rajkumar Hirani has told you that already. Well, almost!