Mumbai: Munnabhai of Bollywood has gone through many tragic phases in life. His real life has been much chaotic than his reel life. According to Bollywood experts, this muscular, droopy-eyed screen hero found it difficult to handle the pressures of being the son of India`s one of most celebrated superstar couple- Sunil Dutt and Nargis. Sanjay, one time drug addict, has had a troubled and well-publicized private life, but his fans always stood by him.

Problems in his life started at a very early stage as he is known to have taken to drugs when he was in high school. When his mother died shortly before the release of his first film as a lead actor in 1981, his addiction apparently worsened.

Sanjay Dutt returned to films after a stint at a rehabilitation centre in the United States where he met his future wife, Richa Sharma. The couple married and had a child, but Sanjay’s happiness remained short-lived as Richa Sharma died of a brain tumour. More misfortunes awaited Sanjay as he lost custody of his daughter, Trishala, after a bitter legal wrangle with his in-laws and many of his films bombed.

But just when he seemed to be putting it all behind and came up with a hit film Khalnayak, he was linked to the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and jailed during investigations. Released from jail, Sanjay remarried model Rhea Pillai in 1998, but the couple divorced in 2005, the same year his father Sunil Dutt, actor turned politician and Union Minister, died of a heart attack.

In 2001, Sanjay was investigated for alleged money-laundering deals between the Mumbai underworld and Bollywood. He was also charged for being caught in a taped conversation with gangsters accused of kidnapping, extortion and murder. But uncannily, he has retained popular support and sympathy from Bollywood as most see him as a sober, good-hearted man whose troublesome youth refuses to leave him.

In fact, he has found more fame in the past few years, particularly after he starred in a film about a do-gooder gangster ‘Munnabhai MBBS’. Its sequel ‘Lage Rago Munnabhai’ him espousing Indian freedom hero Gandhi`s non-violent principles.

From Rocky to Munnabhai

A very few people know the fact that Sanju Baba started his filmy career at the age of 12 in his dad’s film Reshma Aur Shera. In the film he appears briefly as a qawwali singer.
Like any other star son, he too was launched by his father Sunil Dutt in the film ‘Rocky’ in 1981. He was paired opposite Tina Munim in the film and soon after stories about their heated romance started doing the rounds. However, the relationship didn’t last long as Tina Munim left him for a much older Rajesh Khanna.

After Rocky, he acted in many films but unluckily they failed to catapult Sanjay to the top position. He acted in many films including Vidhata, Jeeva, Naam and Taaqatwar. Finally, luck favoured him and his 1991 films Sadak and Saajan were a massive hit. He was even nominated for Filmfare Best Actor Award for Saajan. Gradually as things started falling in place for the Junior Dutt and he gave one of the most hit films in his career ‘Khalnayak’ in 1993, the Bombay blast controversy cropped up.

His filmy career went into a dormant stage. Post-jail period Sanjay once again struggled hard to set the box-office on fire. It was only after a few flop film like Daud (1997), Sanjay made a strong and successful comeback with films like Daag –The Fire (1999) and Vaastav (1999). He then went on to do successful comedy films along with co-star Govinda in Jodi No 1 and Haseena Maan Jayegi.

The golden period in Sanjay Dutt’s career started in 2003 when he took up the film Munnabhai MBBS. Interestingly, Sanjay Dutt was not the first choice for the role, it was Shahrukh Khan. But as the filmy line goes, ‘character character par likha hain actor ka naam…’ the role of Munnabhai fell in his lap. His amazing comic timing and sense just swept the audience off their feet.

Sanjay Dutt got better with age. Growing age cannot shade his macho-man personality and he still looks like a super cool hero. During 2005 to 2010 he did lot of films and got several nominations and awards. Now, he is all set to make his debut as a producer with the films Rascals and Khotey Sikkey under the banner of Sanjay Dutt Productions Pvt Ltd.

Finally, destiny seems to be smiling on this deadly Dutt. Having married Manyata (also known as Dilnawaz Sheikh) in 2008, Sanjay Dutt has left his past behind. He became a father when Manyata gave birth to twins in 2010- a boy named Shahraan and girl named Iqra.

Trade analyst Amod Mehra told a leading newspaper, “This will affect three of his films. While Raju Hirani's film ‘Peekay’ is 50 per cent complete, ‘Policegiri’ is 80 per cent complete and Karan Johar's home production ‘Unglee’ is 30 per cent complete.” The third part of his film ‘Munnabhai Chale Dilli’, to be directed by Subhash Kapoor, has just been announced and he has a total of three films on floor.

Vishal Dadlani tweeted: “I stand with him, always will. He's my brother. He made mistakes, but he's served more than his time, in terms of mental stress.” Kunal Kohli wrote, “The '93 blast case should NOT be made about Sanjay Dutt. The real planners are sitting safely elsewhere.” Sanjay Dutt is a strong man and has accepted the punishment awarded by the Supreme Court "as it is", the actor's lawyer Satish Mane Shinde said today.

A beacon of inspiration to many youths, this Rocky knows how to give a jadoo ki jhappi to life to ward off the ‘Blue’. Aptly said by journalist Sharin Wader, "when you're in trouble, turn to Munnabhai."

JPN/Bureau

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