pramod kumarwrote on Apr 26 2009 5:04AM
To make a mark in a profession where one parent has excelled in, proves to be a great load of expectations for any young man. For Sanjay Dutt, the level of expectations was doubly loaded. As the only son of Sunil Dutt, the dashing, heartbreaking actor of Hindi films of the 60s and the 70s, and Nargis Dutt, one of the finest actresses seen on the Hindi film screen.
Sanjay Dutt's debut in films was, to say the least, one of the most anticipated ones in Hindi film history. As a strapping young 19-year-old, Sanjay was pitch forked into limelight, when his debut films,"Rocky" (1981) was announced. This slightly spoilt brat, was maybe,in hindsight, not prepared for the sudden adulation that followed. Added to this complex situation was the abrupt illness of his mother. She was the emotional bridge between the uneasy teenage son and the concerned father. "Rocky", directed by his father, was a relative hit at the box-office, but both father and son were really not able to savour its success. Mrs. Nargis Dutt passed away, after fighting a grim battle with cancer.
The emotional upheaval tossed the Dutt household into an emotional frenzy. Sanjay Dutt was at the first crossroad of his life. His arrival at the Hindi film scene had been heralded as the coming of a new star whilst at the same time, he had lost the most important person in his life. With his father overcome with his own grief. Sanjay, as he wants to say, went astray in trying to deal with this immense personal loss.
A topsy-turvy fast life of partying, drugs, booze etc. followed as a result of which his promising career as an actor went for a toss. Despite such super-hit films like "Vidhaata" (1982, Dir. Subhash Ghai), Sanjay was on a roller coaster ride of self-destruction.
Being heavily doped-out, Sanjay lost the bearings of his career, his father and family stepped in to try and provide the emotional anchor that was badly needed. After a complete rehabilitation programme, Sanjay Dutt returned to his acting vocation with a vengeance with "Naam" (1986, Dir. Mahesh Bhatt).
His career graph just took off and he quickly re-established himself as the great brown hope of the Hindi film industry.
The double whammy of "Saajan" (1991, Dir. Lawrence D'Souza) and "Sadak" (1991, Dir. Mahesh Bhatt) catapulted him in the league of superstars. These two films also enabled him to change his image from the next angry young man to an action hero terminology which has germinated from the Amitabh Bachchan phenomena to a versatile star-actor. His portrayal of the lame, sacrificing poet in "Saajan", especially, was a revelation to the industry pundits who were not inclined to admit to,Sanjay's ability to act. On the personal front too,things were falling in place.With his romance, and eventual marriage, to the promising actress, Richa Sharma, and the birth of his daughter, Trishala things had never seemed better for him.
However, tragedy struck again. Richa died young with cancer striking again. To overcome this tragedy, Sanjay, a far more matured person now, attacked his work with a vendetta, acting with his usual aplomb and gusto, in successful films like "Khalnayak" (1994, Dir. Subhash Ghai). But unwarranted trouble was just waiting to strike again.
The Mumbai bomb blasts are one of the worst urban terrorist acts of the modern world history. The whole film industry, was in for a rude shock, whilst dealing with this calamity, when they opened their morning newspapers to discover that Sanjay Dutt had been implicated as one of the participants in this inhumane wanton act. A lot has been written, and analysed, about Sanjay's role (or the lack of) in the blasts, but the final word would be to indicate that truth finally prevailes and he was absolved of the allegation.
The time Sanjay spent in jail, in his own often used words, were the worst of his life. Without the emotional anchor of his family, and his girlfriend, Rhea Pillai (now his wife), it was doubtful whether,