MUMBAI: Incarcerated actor Sanjay Dutt’s wife Manyata’s heart and liver ailment has stirred a controversy, some sections believing she has feigned illness to get Sanjay out on parole. These allegations, are fuelled by the fact that last Thursday, she was spotted at the premiere of R… Rajkumar, and at friend Krishika Lulla’s birthday party.
Dr Ajay Chaughule, whom Manyata has been visiting since the past three-four weeks, dismisses the allegations. He tells Mirror, “Manyata has a 6 cm tumour in her liver and that’s definitely not small.” Asked whether her condition was serious, Chaughule says that he has yet to test “if the tumour is cancerous”.
“She has to undergo further diagnosis. After the recent controversy she has not returned to my clinic. If it is not cancerous, she may need to undergo a surgery, may be after 15 years,” he says.
The cause of the tumour is yet to be diagnosed. According to Chaughule it could be genetic or the result of a bout of Hepatitis C.
The doctor who is attached to the city’s Global Hospital and specialises in heart and liver ailments, adds that Manyata has a heart problem as well. “She underwent a stress test some time ago and was advised angiography. But since she was breast-feeding her twins then, she could not go through with the procedure.”
Chaughule however was not certain if Manyata’s recent weight loss is the result of the tumour or her heart problem. “It could also be because of the stress she has been going through following Dutt’s sentencing. Looking after two kids alone is not easy,” he asserts.
Sanjay’s friend Bunty Walia, whose wife is expecting their first child, says, “I’m appalled at the speculation surrounding her illness and Sanjay’s parole. Why make such a big deal? Wouldn’t a parole officer think a hundred times before signing the papers? Sanjay has faced such situations in the past. When they return, it’s bound to hit hard.”
Bunty is referring to Sanjay’s mother Nargis and first wife Richa who died of cancer. His second wife, Rhea Pillai, was said to have heart problems.
A leading producer’s wife who is Manyata’s buddy, on request of anonymity, says, “Manyata’s illness has come as a body blow to Sanjay. She has been his pillar of strength.”
Manyata earlier lived in Dubai and reportedly went by the name of Dilnawaz Shaikh. She entered the film industry as Sara Khan and was re-christened Manyata by Prakash Jha, catching the eye in a raunchy item number in his Gangaajal. Dutt’s producer-friend, Nitin Manmohan, introduced her to the actor and the couple made their first public appearance at a film award function in early 2007. They got married on February 7, 2008. She has been by Sanjay’s side through thick and thin and has come to be known as ‘bhabhi’ or ‘Mrs Dutt’ in the film fraternity.
Sanjay has gone on record to say that Manyata was the best thing to have happened to him. Tired of his nomadic bachelor’s life, Sanjay had long yearned to return home to a wife who cooked biryani for him and babies who crawled all over him. Manyata anchored the wayward star to quiet domesticity and gave him a home of his own.
Mahesh Bhatt, who has known Sanjay well, since he directed him in Naam is saddened by the news of Manyata’s illness. “I do not wish to intrude on her privacy and haven’t asked her any questions on her health. But I can say that her illness has come as a big setback for Sanjay. He is really vulnerable at this time and it couldn’t get worse,”Bhatt asserts.
Bhatt points out political intervention to get Sanjay out on parole so he can be with his ailing wife, has only worsened the crisis. “There has been no communication from the police but political workers are shouting slogans outside their gates,” rages the filmmaker.
Scriptwriter Salim Khan who is a family friend of the Dutts and has known Sanjay since he was a child describes Manyata’s sickness as “tragic” but adds that today with the hi-tech medical facilities available, Manyata should be fine soon. “Every person is born with his share of good and bad luck. In Sanjay’s case it seems the bad has outnumbered the good.” (Mumbai Mirror)
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