Big news that is dominating the Indian film media today, SANJU BABA IS FINALLY OUT OF JAIL!!! After almost 3 years in jail, plus 18 months served back in the 90s, Sanjay Dutt is finally free of court cases and punishment and anything else! There has been so much coverage, that I really can’t do it all justice. So instead, I’ll just pick a couple of cool things that were reported, and then give the 6 reasons that I, personally, am glad he is out.
The Indian Express has literally minute by minute coverage of what he did the day he was released. You can read the whole thing, if you follow the link. Here’s what jumped out at me: first, he chartered an airplane to take him from Pune to Bombay. I didn’t even know you could do that! But I guess it makes sense, he would want to be home as fast as possible, and probably didn’t want to deal with curious fellow passengers. Or else he saw Neerja in jail and is now terrified to fly (I know I am!).
Second, he went straight from the Bombay airport to offer prayers and receive blessings at a temple, and then to his mother’s grave, and only then home. On the one hand, aw! That’s a nice and humble attitude. On the other hand, kind of jerky to make his sisters and kids wait even longer to meet him. But on the mutant third hand, maybe it was a good idea to give himself a little break for meditation and consideration between jail and meeting the kids again, to help acclimate.
And third, leave the man alone! There were photos to accompany all of this, and he was just mobbed by fans and photographers the entire time! Even while being welcomed back into his home by his oldest sister, he was still covered in cameras. And then right after reuniting with his family, he had to go down and have a press conference. Although at least the twins are tiny enough, he could stack one on each knee and keep holding on to them while he answered reporter’s questions.
(Oh my gosh, Iqra looks so much like her grandmother!)
Times of India has a few little human interest stories about different aspects. Like, what he actually did while in jail. Apparently, he ran the jail radio station, and made 38,000 rupees a year, all of which he spent at the jail commissary. And in his last jail radio broadcast, he thanked all the inmates and guards for being so kind to him. (I do kind of have the impression that Indian jails aren’t that bad, or at least not quite as bad as American jails. Although really, what jails are as bad as American ones? Russian?) They also reported on his oldest child, Trishala, who was raised by her mother’s family overseas and is always a little forgotten in this coverage. It’s not clear if she was part of the official welcome home party, but she says she will “see him soon”, so she will probably be flying in. And they helpfully provided a little timeline of the entire imprisonment here.
Oh, and of course, basically everybody took to twitter to welcome him home. Salman in particular, his closest famous friend, sent bodyguards to meet him at the airport and apparently offered his vacation home to the Dutts for a family retreat. Although even Salman didn’t actually take part in his first welcome home, leaving it for just family so far. Which is the reverse of what happened when the sentence came down, and everyone rushed to show support. Which is nice, when the chips were down there was a big effort to show support and share his downfall, but now that things are rosey, everyone is holding back and letting him enjoy the triumph alone.
But that’s what everybody else said, why am I happy he is home?
1. Rajkumar Hirani’s biopic is officially on! He was actually there with Sanjay’s wife when the jail gates opened, filming it, apparently planning to use it as the opening shot of his eventually film (which will star Ranbir Kapoor. How do you think Krishna Kapoor feels about her grandson playing Nargis’ son?). Of course, anything Hirani does is golden, but especially with Sanjay. Ever since Munna Bhai, he clearly has a strong sense of Sanjay persona and personality and appeal. Oh! Do you think this might mean Munna Bhai 3 is also going to be back on?
2. Speaking of Munna Bhai, I love this song
(this isn’t the best video quality available, but it is the only one with subtitles)
3. Sanjay was kind of the test case for all those other stars who have jail terms hanging over them. He was the first one to actually be arrested and taken to court and, after years of appeals and continuancies, he was the first one to actually serve real jail time. And now he is the first one to come out of the other side basically fine! I mean, I am sure his kids will have big scars and it was terrible for his wife and all, but his films did okay, he stayed present in the media, and he is walking out and having films offered to him immediately. And he doesn’t seem terribly psychologically or physically scared either (at least no more than he was already.
4. Speaking of Sanjay’s deep psychological pain, have you seen Sadak? If not, check it out! It is amazing.
(He is a poor taxi driver in love with Pooja Bhatt, who was just sold into prostitution, and he is trying to make money to buy her freedom)
5. I am glad we have him back as another tie to the industry’s golden age. Since Dev is dead, and Shammi is dead, and Guru Dutt’s family is so depressing it hardly bears thinking off, you kind of need Sanjay around to remind us of the olden days stars. Heck, half the coverage of his release revolved around his visit to Nargis’ grave, and his puja in front of Sunil’s picture.
6. Speaking of Nargis, I know it is silly, but I am still really happy for her sake that her son is out of jail!
(Look how much she suffered for her kids! Also, this has always bothered me, weren’t there 4 kids in this movie at one point? I know the baby died during the flood, but what happened to the next youngest? Or did I just miss-count?)