Sanjay Dutt biography: Untold story of Bollywood’s bad boy

The book, published by Juggernaut, talks about Sanjay's ladies, his craziest moments like doing drugs, drinking the blood of a monitor lizard and shooting inside his home one unhinged night

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New Delhi: Sanjay Dutt had not cried when his mother Nargis died and for three long years, his wounds were festering when suddenly he got tapes of his mother’s dying wish and finally burst out crying. This is among many anecdotes about the “original bad boy” of Bollywood mentioned in a new book on him.

In ‘Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story of Bollywood’s Bad Boy’, Yasser Usman tells Sanjay’s story – the good, the bad and, at times, the disastrously absurd, the conflicts, the mistakes, the many heartbreaking tragedies, and the overwhelming triumphs.

The book, published by Juggernaut, talks about Sanjay’s ladies, his craziest moments like doing drugs, drinking the blood of a monitor lizard and shooting inside his home one unhinged night.

Nargis died on 3 May 1981 of cancer just before the release of Sanjay’s debut film “Rocky”.

Sanjay was at that at a drugs rehab centre in the US. Father Sunil Dutt sent him some tapes of Nargis talking during her final days so as to help him in his rehab.

“When Sanjay got the tapes from Sunil he had no idea what was on them. He pressed play and suddenly the room was filled with Nargis’s voice. He remembered his childhood when his mother’s voice would reverberate through the Dutt mansion,” the book says.

His mother’s voice was weak, broken and in immense pain. But Nargis still spoke of her dreams for her beloved son and gave him some gentle advice. Sanjay heard his mother’s voice and realised how much she loved him and cared about him.

“I burst out crying and I cried and cried. I cried continuously for four days . . . I think till then I hadn’t grieved for her when she passed away. So her voice and those tapes changed everything in my life,” the book quotes Sanjay as saying.

In another anecdote, one evening in 1982, Sanju Baba went on a shooting spree after breaking up with Tina Munim, now Ambani. The actor Sanjay Dutt, aching from a recent breakup and mind dulled by alcohol – and perhaps certain other substances – decides to take a gun and shoot mindlessly in the air. He shatters a few windows of his mansion in a posh Mumbai neighbourhood and also the windscreen of his imported car. The police registered a case against him for rash and negligent use of a firearm that could cause harm to human lives. The film star is arrested and then let out on a bail.

Early in his career, the legend of Sanjay Dutt was sealed by the crazy and improbable stories about him doing the rounds.

The book goes to lament other crazy stories also. Said his make-up man Manoj, who worked with him during his initial few films, ‘Which ordinary man cuts the neck of a monitor lizard and drinks its blood and then jogs for one hour to sweat out the toxic effect only because Shakti Kapoor challenged him to do so?’  Manoj also talked about an incident when Sanjay ‘slit his entire forearm with a bottle’ because he was ‘high’. When the doctor arrived to sew him up, Sanjay tried to do it himself – without anaesthesia!

But the quality that makes Sanjay a truly rare bird in Bollywood is his unhesitating honesty and forthrightness about his badassery. He’s been very forthcoming, for instance, about his addictions: ‘Whatever drugs there are in the book, I’ve done it. But I preferred cocaine and heroin. You sniff cocaine, you smoke heroin, you can inject it.’ Indeed, his doctors at rehab in the US were surprised that Sanjay was still alive given the extent of his addictions. Sanjay was similarly open about once having smuggled heroin into the United States.

Sanjay made no bones about the fact that he was a possessive, interfering partner. Many years later when Sanjay was asked if he was ever in two relationships at the same time, he responded provocatively, ‘I was in three relationships at one point in time.’ When asked, how did he manage this feat, he said, ‘You need to be clever… one shouldn’t know what is happening with the other.’

Which other Bollywood stars can you imagine saying things like this? Whatever else you may blame Sanjay for, he’s never been politically correct or hidden his true beliefs under layers of diplomacy.

Sanjay Balraj Dutt, born 29 July 1959, is a film actor and producer known for his work in Hindi cinema (Bollywood). The son of veteran Hindi film actors Sunil Dutt and Nargis Dutt, he made his acting debut in 1981 and has since appeared in more than 100 Hindi films. Although Dutt has enjoyed great success as a lead actor in genres ranging from romance to comedy, it has been the roles of gangsters, thugs and police officers in the drama and action genres that have won him much appreciation. The Indian media and audiences alike popularly refer to him as Deadly Dutt for his larger-than-life portrayals of such characters.

In a film career spanning more than 35 years, Dutt has won two Filmfare Awards, two IIFA Awards, two Bollywood Movie Awards, three Screen Awards, three Stardust Awards, a Global Indian Film Award and a Bengal Film Journalist’s Association Award. Four of his films have won various National Film Awards.

Dutt was arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act in April 1993. Charges of terrorism were dropped but he was convicted of illegal possession of weapons. After serving his sentence with good behaviour and conduct, he was released on 25 February 2016.