Maanayata Dutt opens up about loving and living with Sanjay Dutt, family and her rollercoaster journey
I have always been very rebellious and have done things the way I wanted to.
I am Maanayata Dutt. I am headstrong and can’t be controlled. I always believe that if you love something, it becomes a part of you. I am a water lover and believe in flowing endlessly. I am a firm believer in my values but I would never force them on anyone. I am not the type of person to curb or judge people. I believe that everyone has a way of reacting, acting, loving and living their life. So I let them be as they are.
My real name is Dilnashin, but very few people know that. The name ‘Maanayata’ was given to me by director Prakash Jha while filming ‘Gangaajal’. I love my new name and so does Sanju. The amazing part is there are people who claim to know me so well and have stories to tell about me, but sadly they don’t even have my name right. ‘Dilnawaz’ is not my name but I have never bothered to correct them. I do not believe in wasting my time and energy in justifying myself to people who are irrelevant and do not matter to me. The ones who matter do not need any explanations.
Sanjay and I both come from different religions and cultures but neither of us is the kind of person to interfere with anybody’s life. We have raised our kids with very liberal values and blended cultures. They are free to choose whatever they want – be it career, religion or food habits.
Born and brought up in Bandra, Mumbai, in a conservative Muslim family, I am half Kashmiri and half Uttarpradeshi. I have an older brother who is a production engineer and a younger sister who has done her MSc in Maths followed by MPhil, plus was felicitated with a Dr Abdul Kalam Azad scholarship. She is currently pursuing her PhD and is teaching maths at an engineering college. My grandfather had a confectionery business and owned a few bakeries.
My parents split when I was about seven years old. They had their reasons, values and differences. My mom is very religious and conservative, which contradicted with my father’s more open views. Though my parents did not get divorced, they lived separately.
As kids, my siblings and I had a great childhood. But we’re all very different. I have always been very rebellious and have done things the way I wanted to. In fact, few years ago, my mom mentioned to my sister, ‘Your older sister never argued with me. She always listened to everything bow-headed and never raised her voice’. To which my sister replied, ‘I argue with you because for me, your permission matters, for her, it never did. She
My kids - Shahraan & Iqra