DELHI: Returning to Delhi after a gap of few months, Sanjay Dutt opened up about his drug addiction (and de-addiction), the story behind why he was in possession of illegal firearm and how he is avoiding Ranbir Kapoor, who his playing him in his biopic. Dutt was a guest at a Young FICCI Ladies Organisation’s event along with his sister Priya Dutt and friend Pooja Bhatt. The actor was welcomed with title tracks of ‘Munnabhai MBBS’ and ‘Khalnayak’. As he took his seat, his new hairstyle was the first thing that the audience noticed. The actor later revealed that “the new style with a choti is given to me by Mishraji, who I met in jail. The jail superintendent asked me to trim my beard, and since we were not allowed to have razor or scissors, I was asked to wait for the hajjam who used to come every Sunday. That’s how I met Mishraji, and when I first met him, I asked him what he was in for, and he said he was there on a murder charge. I would get very scared each time he brought that ustra close to my neck, but later, we became friends.” Sanjay began the session by talking about his drug addiction and said that it is important to understand that it is an illness and requires treatment. “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 1kg heroine 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, but what about my sisters? Drugs do this to you. You don’t care about family or anything else.”
Sharing another incident, he said, “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’. I looked at myself in the mirror and felt ki main 100% marne wala hoon, that was when I asked my father for help.” Dutt also had a message for youngsters. He said, “I started taking drugs because main ladkiyon se baat nahi kar pata tha. Somebody told me that if you try this, you will be able to talk to women, so I tried and it worked. What I want to tell youngsters today is that I have gone through a lot because of substance abuse. It is better to be high on life than on any substance. Do good work and get appreciated, there is no better high than that in life.”
Priya shared that there was a time when she was called ‘charsi ki behen’ in college. “After my mom passed away and I was in college, and bhaiyya ki bahut films release hui thi. In every film you can see that he was high, and had put on a lot of weight. In college, people used to call me charsi ki behen. I used to have fights with people in college, but people were very scared of him. I used to feel very angry at him, but we realised that it was like an illness. My father was the first person who publicly admitted that my son is a drug addict and he needs help, warna aaj bhi log aisi cheezein chupate hain. I was in charge of keeping an eye on him. But he was very protective towards us, he didn’t want any of us to be influenced by drugs, or even be near him while he was doing that,” said Priya.
Talking about being charged for illegal possession of firearms, he explained, “I love guns and I love hunting. I got into trouble for having a gun and at that time, there were riots going on. One of my producers asked me, ‘Tujhe bandook chahiye?’ Bandook sunn ke mere kaan khade ho gaye. I asked which gun? And he said AK-56. I thought I would take it to Khandala, thoda chala vala ke phek dunga. I kept it in the car dicky and forgot about it and went to Mauritius. When Priya called me, asking about it, I told a friend to get rid of it. He got rid of it, but the poor guy is still in jail.”