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Sunil Dutt: Actor With Human Touch

Sunil Dutt

Sunil Dutt

25 May was the death anniversary of Sunil Dutt, but neither at the national level or in the state of Punjab tributes were paid to his memory, a man who in his own way soothed the frayed nerves of the common people, be it those who were affected by Mumbai riots or those who were facing the onslaught of terrorism in Punjab. Even the world of cinema forgot him blissfully!

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Sunil Dutt’ life is a tapestry of trials and tribulations in one form or the other form, each of such hurdles making him emerge victorious and stronger every time he faced them. It is also surprising that no documented work on Sunil Dutt has been published, and only one book provides a glimpse of the wonderful personality that he was. The book has been written by his daughters Namrata Dutt Kumar and Priya Dutt, titled “Mr and Mrs. Dutt”. In fact this was the name through which both Nargis and Sunil Dutt addressed each other in the public.

When his grand daughter, saw an old photograph of her Nana had remarked “how handsome he was”. Indeed he was one of the most handsome persons and humility personified. He was wedded to cinema from his heart, though he could not give it the attention owing to his diversified commitments. Even then, when he acted in MUNNA BHAI MBBS and it became a stupendous hit and his acting prowess was praised, he had quipped” he did not fathom how he meandered into the world of politics. For him acting was the profession”. Truly, though he gained in stature in the social and political field, quite a lot was left for him to contribute to the world of cinema.

A simple man who valued each of his possessions in life with great reverence, he continued to have the first car bearing the number 1933 and the first suit that he had bought for quite a long time. The suit in fact remained till the time he passed from this world. It is a clear pointer about a man who came up hard way and therefore respected his achievements in life.

When he married Nargis, and being aware of the kind of lifestyle that she was accustomed to, he bought a huge bungalow in Pali Hill that became their abode and continues to reverberate with echoes of memories of a family that has faced all kind of trials and tribulations throughout their life, even though when he bought it, he did not have money to make down payment and he paid for the house in installments.

The book clearly brings out in succinct detail how Sanjay Dutt has still not able to overcome the loss of his parents, especially her mother. Nargis was particularly fond of dolls, and when Sanjay was born, he being the first child, became the doll with the life in it, and was showered with all love, adulation and pampering and the association of this kind created such a void in his life that he has still not been able to come to terms with it.

To Sunil Dutt, should be credited the started the tradition of entertaining the soldiers at the borders by marshalling his friends from the acting fraternity, it based on a suggestion of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru The book also reveals what big fright Kishore Kumar had and when he performed for the first time on the stage, he made Sunil Dutt stand in front of him and Kishore Kumar sang from behind. One only wonders whether this could be the trigger for creation of such a scene in PADOSAN, one of the biggest laugh riots that Hindi cinema has ever produced.

It is high time an authoritative biography on his life needs to come out and Sanjay Dutt indeed has to take the lead, as it would be his personal tribute to his father, whose void he has still not been able to reconcile with. Sanjay Dutt also needs to restart programmes of the kind for soldiers that his father used to do, as the soldiers still hanker for such recognition for the yeomen service that they are doing for the country. It would be the best form of tribute that a son can pay to his father.

By: Suman Rai

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