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Sanjay Dutt has always been controversy's favourite child. No doubt, this month, we will get to witness his life story in Ranbir Kapoor starrer Sanju. We already got a glimpse of what the biopic has in store for us in the film's trailer. Out of which, one of the most important aspect of his life is his torrid affair with drugs and booze.
Speaking about this dark phase, his sister Namrata Dutt had opened up in a rare interview in 1987. Dutt too had shared in yet another throwback interview about falling in the whirlwind of narcotics and how despite coming clean out of it, people still looked at him with suspicion for a long time-
Sanjay Dutt Would Get Violent
In an interview with Society magazine in 1987, Namrata recalled how she tried to get Sanjay Dutt out of his drug addiction. The magazine quoted her as saying, "Everyday, I used to try to talk to him but it was no use. He just couldn't live without them. He would get violent, we would fight, even come to blows".
It Was Like Going Through Hell
She said, "One particular night he came home drunk, totally plastered, and this after my mum's death, was too much for me. I yelled at him, and he yelled back, so I pushed him and he pushed me so hard that I fractured my toe. Oh god, but those were terrible days. I went through hell."
Dutt's Drug Addiction
"I was already on drugs when my mother was being treated for cancer. Rocky (his debut film) was being made and I remember that I was so addicted that once I travelled with 1 kilogram of heroin hidden in my shoes. My two sisters were also with me on the same flight. At that time, checking at airports was not so strict. Today, when I think about the incident, I get scared. Main pakda jaata toh theek tha (If I got caught, it was fine), but what about my sisters? Drugs do this to you. You don't care about family or anything else," Sanjay recalled while speaking to the media in 2016.
Nargis's Death Left Sanju Shattered
When his mother Nargis succumbed to cancer in 1981, Dutt was shattered. It is said that he returned with the vengeance to booze and drugs he used to take earlier for kicks. Last year in 2017, Dutt opened up about this phase at an annual convention, 'It's not that I started because of mom. Mera dog mar gaya toh daaru pi raha hoon, aaj mera gadha mar gaya to daaru piyunga ' these are just excuses. Substance abuse is something that you do if you want to do it. Once you get into it, it's very difficult to leave. It is the worst thing in the world."
When Sanjay Finally Decided To Give Up Drugs
"I used to do a lot of cocaine then. And cocaine aapko upar le jata hai, toh aapko neeche aane ke liye daaru peeni padti hai. One day, I came home high, had alcohol and went to sleep. When I woke up, I asked the house help to get me something to eat. And he told me ‘Baba aap do din baad khana kha rahe hain (Baba you are eating food after two days)'. I looked at myself in the mirror and felt ki main 100% marne wala hoon, that was when I asked my father for help."
Dad To The Rescue
Soon after, he joined a rehabilitation center in Texas, USA. Speaking about it, the actor revealed, "My journey with substance abuse has been about 12 years. There are no drugs in the world that I have not done. When my father took me to America (for rehab), they gave me a list (of drugs) and I ticked every drug on it, because I had taken all of them. The doctor told my dad, 'What kind of food do you eat in India? Going by the drugs he did, he should be dead by now!'
I Don't Blame People Who Shunned Me
Eight months later, he returned to cold indifference. Nobody was convinced that had overcome his affair with drugs. Later in an interview with Filmfare magazine in 1986, Sanjay confessed, "I don't blame people who shunned me. It was like walking down shit street. I won't wish that even on my worst adversary."
Nobody Wanted To Work With Sanjay
"It was a phase full of disapproval and disenchantment. Nobody wanted to take note of my existence. Filmmakers were wary of signing me. Instead of supporting my efforts to find my foothold once again, they were doing just the opposite."
Sanjay Took The Blame On Himself
"Well, to be frank, I don't blame them for it. What was my track record then? Cancelled shooting and shattered schedules with anxious unit members waiting endlessly for me to report for work."
"Naturally, the producers had no reason to trust me. I had let them all down, betrayed them once too often. If I were in their position, I would do the same- who would want to invest lakh of rupees on an erratic guy like me? Filmmaking is no joke...it involves so much money.
It Was A Tough Battle
"But I was determined to come out of that wretched situation. I had to prove something to myself, not merely to the others- that I had some stuff in me, that I was worth something. It was a tough battle- often I would feel I was trying to cross an endless stretch of desert with no shade, no oasis in sight."
People Would Look At Sanjay Dutt With Suspicion
"There were days when people would look suspiciously at me, unable to believe that I was through that terrible spell of addiction. They would test me tentatively."
"But as I began emerging from it, I realized one thing. The tougher the challenge, the greater the satisfaction of having met it successfully. Each step forward takes you a step higher towards your goal."
His Father Sunil Dutt Was His Greatest Strength
"What saw me through this lean phase was the encouragement that I got from my family. My father, who has been a pillar of strength and courage, stood by me through it all, himself suffering silently."
Love Conquers All
"Then there were filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt, Farooq Nadiadwala, J.P Dutta and Pappu Varma, who had the guts to sign me. And the others- my make-up man, Deepak, my Man Friday, Mohammad Ali and my driver, who waited patiently and said silent prayers for my recovery and return. I was touched by their gesture. Their attitude considerably helped me rebuild my self-confidence. It was a great feeling."
"Love and affection are of utmost importance in life- particularly when you are down and out, emotionally and physically. They can really recharge you. At least that's what they did to me."