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MUMBAI: After the Thane police recently named her a suspect in the Rs 1,500-crore Bollywood drug bust, former actress-turned yogini Mamta Kulkarni claims she is innocent as she leads a spiritual life now.
Mamta, who is based in Nairobi now, told Mid-Day, “If I say too much, the cops will get offended and then have a bigger ego tussle with me. Some of them are enjoying the publicity that comes with such a case, and are going all out to prosecute me. But in the end, they will find nothing. Jay Mukhi, the main witness, has retracted his statement. So, I am innocent.’’
It was in the mid-1990s when Mamta reportedly fell in love with and married druglord Vicky Goswami, and moved to Dubai even though Goswami maintained that she was only a well-wisher of his. Goswami was jailed in 1997 for 10 years.
“I prayed for him to get out during my penance. And his sentence got shortened! We are just friends now and I live alone in a rented apartment in Nairobi,’’ Mamta told Mid-Day in an interview.
She said, “I was No. 2 in Bollywood when I quit. I just got tired of it. I started doing my penance. And then my mother died, and I shifted to Dubai.”
The former Bollywood sex bomb says her mother pushed her into films. “I always used to ask myself this question: Why am I here? It was not for Bollywood but to become a yogini. It was my Bollywood-crazy mother who made sure I became an actress. Even when I was a child, she would carry me in her arms to Chor Bazaar to buy old Hindi records.”
Asked whether being with a drug lord ruined her reputation, Mamta said, “I am detached to a point where I am with nobody now. Vicky met me in my years of penance but wooed me. He said ‘come with me and see the world’. And he did show me the world – he took me everywhere. But as I did further penance, I slowly kept getting more and more detached. Then one day, I wasn’t in the relationship anymore. It’s like staying in the house with a dog – you are with him. We stay apart now, but we are friends for our selfish reasons. But I know he is innocent and it’s just that his past is not letting him live in peace. And once you take on a man, everything comes with him. That’s why I am facing this. I will continue to face this. It’s like Sita Mata… When she came back from Ravan’s home, nobody believed her even when she was ready to take an agni pariskha. Just being around Ravan ruined her reputation, like mine has been ruined. If it happened to her, I am just a mortal.’’
Mamta Kulkarni said she has been doing penance or tapasya since 1995. “I started going to ashrams because I didn’t want to be a film star anymore. I am still in a way doing penance — it’s become a way of life. God came to me, and all the stars have aligned to take me on this path of enlightenment. I have enough money and savings from my Bollywood movies and concerts that I never have to work again my life. God makes sure I am not distracted from my penance.’’
Asked about the huge drug racket money, she said, “They (police) say it’s a Rs 2,000-crore racket. Why then do I live in a rented apartment in Nairobi? Why does my sister, Molina, live in a normal house in Mira Road? I barely have Rs 25 lakh in fixed deposits. All the properties I ever bought in India date back to 1994-95. Shouldn’t I have villas all over the world? Where is this money? We are in the clear. That’s what I tell my family. They (police) can’t do anything as we have nothing to hide.’’