MUMBAI: It was the biggest fall-out in the history of filmy friendships.
Former best-friends Sanjay Dutt and Sanjay Gupta (seen in the above picture) fell out over Dutt’s allegations of financial bunglings within the production company White Feather Films which the two had partnered since 2001.
After jointly producing Kaante, Musafir, Zinda and Shootout At Lokhandwala, in 2007 Dutt terminated his professional and personal partnership with Gupta amidst vociferous allegations of huge financial misappropriation.
The acrimony between the two was so palpable and pervasive that no member of the film fraternity was allowed to be friendly with both Gupta and Dutt.
All the mutual friends of Dutt and Gupta were made to choose between the two.
When Gupta in an acerbic interview to this writer said he would never be friends with Dutt in this life, Sanjay Dutt called up this writer to respond angrily, “Why only this life? According to me, we can’t be friends in any of my future lives either. I wish him the best. But we will never be together…ever.”
Well, Mr Dutt, never say never again!
On Wednesday, October 10, at the Reliance Mediaworks complex during Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday bash, the unthinkable happened: Sanjay Dutt and Sanjay Gupta kissed and made up!
And we have at least seven eyewitnesses who saw the patch-up happen in front of their eyes.
According to eyewitnesses, earlier in the evening while the Big B bash was in full swing, Gupta and Dutt, “pointedly ignored one another, making sure they were not in the same area of the revelry”.
But then somewhere during the evening with a few drinks down the hatchet when Dutt was feeling mellow and amiable, he saw Gupta across the room. Spontaneously, he yelled, ‘Hey, Gups!’ across the room.
According to eyewitnesses, everyone in the room froze, Gupta more so than the rest.
Says our khabri, “It took Gupta no more than five seconds to realize who had called his name across the room. After all he had lived with that baritone yelling ‘Gups’ for nearly ten years when Dutt and Gupta were inseparable friends. Without a thought, Gupta turned around and greeted Dutt with a warm hug. All the bitterness between the two dost turned dushman melted away with that jadoo ki jhappi. We could see them getting deeply emotional as the reconciliation happened.”
Apparently, Dutt was with his wife Maanyata at that moment when the reconciliation happened. But Gupta’s wife Anu had stepped out to the washroom.
Says our eyewitness, “When Anu returned she was startled to see her husband speaking to his former best-friend and partner. Anu and Maanyata had never met before. So Gupta warmly introduced his wife to Dutt’s wife. The four of them spoke for a good 10 minutes. They parted with the promise of meeting up again in the next couple of days.”
When one contacted Sanjay Gupta to confirm the reports from the Big B’s bash about the reconciliation, he admitted that the patch-up had really happened. “We met and we hugged. That was it. Our wives met for the first time. I think life is too short to hold on to grudges.”
Sanjay Dutt says, “Yes, Gups and I reached out to one another at Amitji’s birthday. It felt really nice. All said and done, he is like a younger brother. We go back a long way.”