By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: The abject loneliness of being Sanjay Dutt hits you hard when a close friend of the incarcerated actor informs, “Baba has been gone for three weeks. The family has not come to terms with his absence. We his close friends are not allowed to visit him. The family is allowed to visit, perhaps once a month. So far Baba’s sister Priya and then later Buntyji (Dutt’s brother-in-law Kumar Gaurav) also visited. Maanyata Bhabhi also accompanied Buntyji, I think.”
When asked about how Sanjay Dutt has taken to his new life of incarceration the friend says, “Baba is calm. He has now accepted his fate. But his family is very worried. Because the ghar ka khana for which he was given special permission ends on June 16.”
The family will appeal for another month’s ghar ka khana for Dutt. But chances of being granted this privilege again are minimal.
Says the friend, “Maanyata Bhabhi and the family are hopeful But from what I hear another food court-extension is unlikely for Baba.”
Apparently the jail authorities do not encourage,entertain or relish prisoners getting court orders to supersede prison rules as such orders undermine the prison authorities’ power.
“Also,” says the friend. “Baba having food cooked in his Pali Hill kitchen with other prison inmates eating the ordinary prison food is not the best of situations for Baba or the other inmates to be in. So we are kind of bracing ourselves for a disappointment on the food front.”
Says the friend, “We are bracing ourselves for that blow when the home-cooked food and the ceiling fan might be taken away from Baba. It is specially hard on Maanyata Bhabhi because for her to eat the home-cooked food and to sleep in air-conditioned comfort while Baba sweats it out in prison is an unthinkable prospect.”
This friend reveals that Dutt is habituated to the airconditioner working at 14-16 degrees.“For Baba to survive in that heat at his age is a scary thought.”
That brings us to the question of Sanjay Dutt’s health. The actor has in the past had serious health issues. He has lately been under tremendous stress and has gone into prison in a far-from-fit condition.
How would he survive nearly three years on jail food and family visits once a month?
“He should have thought of that when he did what he did to get where he is today. But that’s Baba. He has never taken responsibility for his actions.We remain loyal to him. But he has isolated a lot of people who cared for him,” says the friend.