Les­son in Liv­ing

Society - - MELANGE - | By MALAVIKA KAM­RAJU|

With his long-drawn le­gal bat­tle and the re­cent con­tro­versy sur­round­ing his unau­tho­rised au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, San­jay Dutt may have be­come fiercely pro­tec­tive about his per­sonal life. But his sis­ter Namrata Dutt-Ku­mar opens her heart out to So­ci­ety in this May 1987 in­ter­view. The one who kept the vigil at home while her fa­ther and younger sis­ter were walk­ing through North In­dia for peace, risk­ing, in the bar­gain, their lives... here, the brave daugh­ter and sis­ter talks about the worst mo­ments her fam­ily has had to face, in­clud­ing her mother Nar­gis’ death

When the ret­i­cent daugh­ter of a leg­endary woman agrees to speak about her­self for the first time, you must go to her un­pre­pared and in­no­cent, like a child go­ing to school the first time, with a brand new chalk and a shiny clean slate, the mind empty of any no­tions of what lies ahead; ad­mir­ing in­stead the pink flow­ers on the hedge it trails its fin­gers on, skip­ping along to the pulse-beat of a bright morn­ing. Left, to a dead end on a high road on Pali Hill, you fast-trot into a drive­way, slip­ping down­wards and the huge Dutt bun­ga­low rears up, set amidst a par­tially ne­glected lawn. Through an as­sort­ment of parked cars, you reach the ve­ran­dah and a dusky ser­vant says, ‘ Didi upar hai’. A pol­ished wooden stair­case takes you to the first floor and you seat your­self on a faded blue sofa in the lounge, wait­ing for Namrata Dutt-Ku­mar, while old pho­to­graphs of Nar­gis and Su­nil Dutt beckon you into their past. A three-vol­ume set of The Best Scot­land Yard is asleep on the book­shelf along­with a few other sleepy book-heads. And you know that the lady of this manor is no more. The at­mos­phere si­dles up to you, while you wait, chat­ting of the days when the house and its things shone be­cause she, the mem­saab, was around. Now, says the sad air, though the house

is kept clean and smoothly-run­ning, it’s only be­cause the ser­vants are do­ing their job well. As for the saab…the sen­tence is left in­com­plete, for the chhota mem­saab en­ters. Hi, says Namrata, smil­ing, seat­ing her­self across, and Namrata you re­alise is beau­ti­ful. Much more so than Nar­gis, yet be­cause she is a lot like Nar­gis, for the essence of her mother has been for­ever cap­tured in Namrata’s smile. (“Oh, I have a very wide smile,” she says, dur­ing the photo ses­sion a tri­fle self con­sciously, “Very much like my mum’s.”) But Namrata is not an­other Nar­gis in the mak­ing, that would be an im­pos­si­bly orig­i­nal thing to hap­pen. Namrata is merely the daugh­ter of a fa­mous mother try­ing to find her iden­tity in a 25-year- old life that lit­er­ally tore her from her safe moor­ings and washed her up on a shore that was very strange, yet very fa­mil­iar—strange be­cause she had never been here be­fore, fa­mil­iar be­cause she had al­ways watched it from afar, but never wished to go there. It seems then that this lovely young girl is, to­day, stranded on un­wanted fa­mil­iar shores. “It was the most won­der­ful child­hood,” Namrata rem­i­nisces, “it was a real happy world. My mum was there all the time, look­ing af­ter us, lit­er­ally show­er­ing us with love. In fact, it was my dad who was very busy those days. We would see him rarely on week­days, but Sun­days were spent with us.” On Sun­days, the Dutts would drive down to Sun-n-Sand and it was time for fun and frolic. Lit­tle San­jay would gladly jump into the pool, with no help from Daddy, while tiny Namrata quaked in her lit­tle shoes as her fa­ther pre­pared to put her in the wa­ter. She hated swim­ming, was ter­ri­fied of the wa­ter. But her dad said, stop be­ing scared you silly cry-baby, noth­ing will hap­pen to you, in fact you’ll love it. All the while her mum watched from a dis­tance, chuck­ling and laugh­ing at her baby daugh­ter’s los­ing bat­tle! But she wouldn’t pamper her kids un­nec­es­sar­ily by com­ing to their res­cue. Let them fight their own bat­tles! Lit­tle did Nar­gis Dutt re­alise that one day she would leave them to do just that. Right now how­ever it was time to give them a made to or­der child­hood. A large part of her mind’s strength came from the calorific-laden love of Nar­gis, who was al­ways around. The days and nights af­ter Raat Aur Din. (Nar­gis film, a vol­un­tary with­drawal for chil­dren’s sake) were to­tally spent on them. You can­not talk to Namrata or about her, with­out talk­ing about Nar­gis. “My mum was the core of our ex­is­tence and to talk about my­self would essen­tially mean to talk about her.” How can you then mea­sure out her life, the mea­gre 25 years of it, with her smiles be­fore and the si­lences af­ter, she seems to sug­gest. “Oh, but my mother was won­der­ful,” Namrata says. “It was the way she was that taught us more than any spo­ken word ser­mon. I don’t think she deliberately set out to drill any­thing into our heads. But we learnt the right things all the same. There was a nor­malcy about the Dutt

house­hold, about be­ing the Dutt’s chil­dren, which Namrata to­day finds a rare one to ret­ro­spect. “Don’t you think to­day all the film stars have stopped grow­ing up in a nor­mal way?” she asks. The filmi kids of to­day grow­ing up in a spe­cial way, may snig­ger at her in pre­co­cious con­tempt but she was never made to feel that she was spe­cial. She was just a child, like all the chil­dren out there, who needed love, a stern eye, a daily glass of milk each morn­ing with but­ter and toast and off to school and study. Back from school, it was home­work, play­time, din­ner and sleep and the face of her mother say­ing good­night, some­times with a kiss. “I am glad it was like that and I think there is no other way our mum would have brought us up ex­cept in a nor­mal dis­ci­plined way,” she says, very, very proud. Even the fact that she had Nar­gis Dutt for a mum did noth­ing to help her fly high. Nar­gis Dutt was for the world out­side, for her, “Sunju” and Priya, she was sim­ply mum, “the best mum in the world.” Nat­u­rally! “You know, I knew she was, or had been, an ac­tress, that I was not ex­actly like other chil­dren, but some­how, noth­ing was dif­fer­ent at home. Study time was study time, no fool­ing around. My mother when she wanted to, could be re­ally strict. My par­ents used to come and check our ter­mi­nal grades, our per­for­mance in school, and con­sid­er­ing how busy her dad was, he still made it a point to be a reg­u­lar at school. Even though he was busy there was noth­ing he didn’t know about. My mum kept him in­formed of every sin­gle thing. “But there was one time when this nor­malcy was shat­tered,” she says, gig­gling at the mem­ory of it, “and that was when I changed to AB Petit School from Cathe­dral. Cathe­dral was an elite school so to speak, so my back­ground was largely no real shakes for them. But Petit has chil­dren from all strata. I re­mem­ber the first day my mother took me to school, the whole crowd gath­ered around, star­ing. When I en­tered the class, all the stu­dents be­gan touch­ing my hair, feel­ing my dress… God, I re­ally felt like some kind of an alien. And then it re­ally hit me, my mum was so fa­mous!” And when this fa­mous mum came alive on the screen in a dif­fer­ent sense, it was a great feel­ing for Namrata. They are yet an­other se­ries of mem­o­ries of her mother she cher­ishes. We used to see her films in our Ajanta Theatre, not very many, but I re­mem­ber see­ing Mother In­dia and I sobbed and I sobbed.” Dad’s films, on the other hand, was a reg­u­lar fea­ture as were her dad’s ab­sorb­ing ac­count of their (Ajanta Arts troupe’s) en­ter­tain­ment pro­grammes for the jawans. “I never ac­com­pa­nied my par­ents to the bor­ders, I was too young, but Sanju did. Her would play the bon­gos (he was in Sanawar at that “time)” she laughs, “and they would come back and tell me won­der­ful tales of what hap­pened!” And Anju (Namrata’s pet name) grew and grew in her mum’s tall shadow. She be­came a lovely look­ing girl with a rose dawn com­plex­ion. (like her mother’s) silky straight hair (like her fa­ther’s), a 5’5” height (her own) and slim as a reed (her mother again). Tai­lor-made for a great launch in films, she would have brought to the screen the smile of Nar­gis and the qual­ity of class. But these are or­di­nary ex­pec­ta­tions. The great ones are what re­ally mat­ter and they cer­tainly didn’t in­clude grease­paint. “I have re­ally never thought of join­ing films,” she says, “it never oc­curred to me at any time. Of course, from the be­gin­ning it was un­der­stood that we girls won’t. My fa­ther is to­tally against it, he would never al­low us to, and in any case I wasn’t in­ter­ested. I re­mem­ber once my mum said, ‘Anju, it’s not the way it used to be any­more. There is no dig­nity and re­spect left.’ And she was a woman who placed great value on those qual­i­ties.” But don’t in­ter­pret my dad’s at­ti­tude as chau­vin­ism, she pleads at the same time, for he also told her that she must stand on the three inch stilet­toes, bought out of her own

“My dad be­came a recluse. He just wouldn’t talk to us, he would shout at us at the slight­est pre­text. For six months, we went through this hell.”

money! “My fa­ther al­ways in­sisted that we be fi­nan­cially on our own. I think no woman should de­pend on any­body, not her hus­band, not her par­ents.” And who else but Namrata should feel the irony grat­ing in her throat as she says this. Sit­ting on the pow­der blue suede sofa in the bare lounge of her fa­ther’s home, she is not strik­ing a pose of su­per con­fi­dence as she pro­claims this. She is merely, grate­fully, suc­cumb­ing to the peace that en­sued af­ter the hia­tus—a hia­tus that helped her walk out of her in-law’s place, much cha­grined, much ma­ligned, her young mind bat­tered once more by the vel­vet-fisted blows of fate. The bad time for Namrata had be­gun long ago in fact, and these were merely the ex­ten­sion, and like any bad old days they be­gan with­out a hint of mal­ice. She was at Sophia Polytech­nic pur­su­ing com­mer­cial art when, her mum said, ‘I am now go­ing to be a mem­ber of the Ra­jya Sabha,’ “And we im­me­di­ately hated the prospect. More than me, Priya was up­set, be­cause she was ter­ri­bly at­tached to my mother. We used to be af­ter her life to give it up, come back, for she was away so of­ten to Delhi and we missed her hor­ri­bly. But she said she couldn’t walk out on Mrs Gandhi’s wishes.” The idyll in the Dutt house­hold was com­ing to an end. For, with the fa­mous po­lit­i­cal ca­reer of Nar­gis Dutt came also her fa­tal ill­ness. And even though they didn’t know it, from then on, for all of them it was to be a whis­tle-stop tour of Dutt’s In­ferno. It was also ob­vi­ously a turn­ing point in Namrata’s life. “Till then, I was a girl wrapped up in my own mul­ti­coloured dream haze,” she says, re­call­ing the Anju that was, an Anju she some­times misses. “Noth­ing of the outer world ever got to me. I was on my own trip, very re­served, very in­tro­verted, al­ways paint­ing or read­ing books in my room. I hardly so­cial­ized, not many friends and life was, as they say, real cool.” Her mother’s ill­ness, she thought, with a part of her mind still drift­ing in the haze, was a non-wor­ry­ing one and all would be well soon. The first time Nar­gis Dutt flew to New York for an op­er­a­tion, the kids too flew to join her and there was worry, sure, but there was the in­no­cence of the thrill, of the great Amer­i­can trip. You don’t think of the worst when it comes to the ones you love, you fully be­lieve in God, leave ev­ery­thing to him and de­light in the new won­ders you see as your three-week trip in the US gets go­ing. “We were sure she would be OK. We didn’t know that it was can­cer, we were in­stead told that it was a case of fi­broids.” The three sib­lings, there­fore, af­ter the three week trip, re­turned, falsely re­as­sured, and picked up the rou­tine. San­jay had fin­ished col­lege and was all set to make his de­but with Rocky. Priya was in school and Namrata was in her third year at Sophia’s. Mean­while, back in the USA, the doc­tors were cut­ting up and su­tur­ing Nar­gis Dutt’s ar­ter­ies and veins, once in every two days. It was a ques­tion of sur­vival they said, and when they opened her up and closed her for the sev­enth time in ten days, it was time to call the kids to her bed­side. “I don’t think I know even one per­cent of what my fa­ther went through then,” she says, her voice rich with emo­tions. “He would just sit there every sin­gle day, talk­ing to her with in­fi­nite love and pa­tience and it made us feel com­pletely help­less, so ab­so­lutely wretched.” Imag­ine the love, the sac­ri­fice, the care that their re­la­tion­ship was built on, her eyes seem

to sug­gest. And the Nar­gis-Su­nil Dutt love story, un­de­ni­ably, is le­gion. The Dutts flew back to In­dia, af­ter a long, tor­tu­ous vigil over a flick­er­ing life and Nar­gis was back at 58 Pali Hill, the sil­ver of a shadow, a leg­end liv­ing out the epi­logue of her life. For Namrata it was the con­tin­u­a­tion of the hellish night­mare. Her world had lit­er­ally come apart at the seams and she was floun­der­ing, in a state of chronic de­pres­sion. Her dear­est brother, the one she was re­ally “clos­est to” all along, was now hooked on to a white hot trip, to com­pli­ment the white hot grief of his fa­ther and sis­ters. Some­times vi­o­lent, some­times mo­rose, ‘Sanju’ sur­faced from his chem­i­cal mi­asma only to be dis­traught at the con­di­tion of his mother, for he was ‘momma’s pet’ and his momma was fast sink­ing. Her fa­ther seemed to them to be sit­ting un­der a mas­sive bell-jar of grief, a study in in­cal­cu­la­ble grief, vis­i­ble but out of reach. Priya was still a child, need­ing love and com­fort, and mis­er­able at what was hap­pen­ing to her 14-year-old world. “I knew it was time to come out of my shell,” Namrata says, “I couldn’t af­ford to be an in­tro­vert any longer. Some­one had to

“I couldn’t af­ford to be an in­tro­vert any longer. Some­one had to look af­ter my fam­ily, so why not me?”

look af­ter my fam­ily, so why not me? And then we went through this en­tire phase of babas, tal­is­mans, and lucky charms also. We, who never be­lieved in all this, went to every baba in town and out of town, any­where. I thought the sun would never shine on our lives again. I couldn’t be­lieve that mum was go­ing.” A cou­ple of weeks later it was all over. “My dad had gone to Shirdi and that very night, as though god was do­ing it on pur­pose, she de­te­ri­o­rated. We had to rush her to the hos­pi­tal. By the time my fa­ther re­turned from Shirdi the next morn­ing, she was nearly gone. He had just the few min­utes to run over and see her, her last mo­ments. We couldn’t, for we had to come home in the morn­ing to change and shower. She went away while we were here. It’s all so fresh in my mind.” she says, sigh­ing, ex­hausted, “It seems it was yes­ter­day it all hap­pened.” It was a water­shed. At 20, Namrata Dutt had been stretched on the rack of life and she knew the life she had known was all over. Now, what­ever would come her way, mas­querad­ing as life, would be its poor cousin. But she had to wel­come it in any way. So she picked up the threads, mas­ter­fully over­com­ing her grief. “I had my fam­ily to look af­ter. Though my mum had left be­hind a heavy man­tle, I nev­er­the­less tried to wear it,” she says so, with an un­be­com­ing mod­esty. “My fa­ther was still locked within his grief, but any man who has gone through all that had a right to be un­rea­son­able, so I just went along with his ir­ri­tabil­ity.” Play­ing mother to Priya was also not easy either, be­cause the 14-yearold had suf­fered too much be­wil­der­ment, but it was at least not im­pos­si­ble. What frus­trated Namrata, was her broth­ers drug ad­dic­tion. “Sanju’s drug prob­lem was purely due to bad com­pany,” she says in the voice of a lit­tle sis­ter who never gave up try­ing to re­form her big ‘lovely’ brother. “Every day I used to try to talk to

him but it was of no use. He just couldn’t live with­out them. He would get vi­o­lent, we would fight, even come to blows. One par­tic­u­lar night he came home drunk, to­tally plas­tered, and this af­ter my mum’s death, was too much for me. I yelled at him, and he yelled back, so I pushed him and he pushed me so hard that I frac­tured my toe. Oh god, but those were ter­ri­ble days. I went through hell.” She lapses into a si­lence, pluck­ing all imag­i­nary threads on her trousers, her eyes down­cast and it some­how makes you want to qui­etly slip away and leave her alone. “Oh! But he’s changed now,” she says, shoot­ing her head up. Sud­denly as though read­ing your thoughts and laugh­ing, the laugh­ter reach­ing her kaa­jal laden eyes. It’s okay they seem to say, we are not about to go soft on you. “He’s ab­so­lutely dif­fer­ent now and to­day we are closer than we were,” she says hap­pily. The pain of the trauma had be­gan to lessen three years ago. Her fa­ther fi­nally came out of his shell, reach­ing out to his chil­dren, and slowly, “we all ral­lied around each other, our bonds get­ting stronger and stronger each day.” The cen­tral fig­ure in their lives hav­ing gone, it was a bold at­tempt on their part to some­how com­pen­sate for that loss. They suc­ceeded nearly, for ‘Sanju’ was still on drugs and her fa­ther was suf­fer­ing a lot as a con­se­quence. When the de­ci­sion of send­ing Sanju to the US for dry­ing out was taken, “I felt things were go­ing to be al­right once again. I knew my brother would come back a changed per­son.” The pieces of the jig­saw, slowly be­gan fall­ing in place, but around a huge empty space that could never be filled. “But even in that there is a whole­ness, a pur­pose, isn’t it,” she says, her face earnest, se­ri­ous and beau­ti­ful, the rudi­ments of phi­los­o­phy tak­ing birth in her mind. She had lost out on a year due to her mother’s ill­ness but she com­pleted her de­gree in com­mer­cial art “cred­itably” and was all set

“I can­not be just a house­wife and a mother. I never grew up think­ing of just that. I am ca­reer minded, I want to earn my own money and I don’t think I am ask­ing for too much.”

to be­gin a ca­reer, when the first gift of life’s com­pen­sa­tion was de­liv­ered to her doorstep. Gift wrapped in her brother’s friend­ship came Ku­mar Gau­rav. With KG came love and with love came a clash of love sto­ries. From the box-of­fice hit Love Story, Ku­mar Gau­rav stepped into the be­low-the-belt of a real life, for when he fell in love with his best friend’s sis­ter, slan­der, gos­sip, mal­ice and icky-poo tears of a for­mer love ed­died about the hottest pair in town and the Gau­rav li­nen was sub­jected to a thor­ough pub­lic laun­der­ing. But Namrata is made of su­pe­rior stuff. She had never lost her head ear­lier in any cri­sis be­fore and she wasn’t about to lose her heart with­out a damn good rea­son, and never mind the film mags flut­ter­ing in the sun. Gau­rav was for her a damn good rea­son. “He’s a lovely per­son and I couldn’t help my­self.” Ah, to let you into a cute se­cret now. All the while through her own love story, Namrata was in per­pet­ual dread. Of whom? “Why Sanju of course,” she says, gig­gling with cathar­tic glee. He wouldn’t have liked it one bit. Bunty, (KG) was his best friend af­ter all and he wouldn’t have liked me to get in­volved,” she says. So it was the most thrillingly clan­des­tine af­fair till it got too hot un­der the wraps and their re­spec­tive fa­thers were in­formed about their (the love pi­geons) hon­ourable in­ten­tions. “I re­mem­ber Sanju was in the US for his treat­ment (dur­ing the last lap of the ro­mance) and dad called him up and said when you get back Anju will be mar­ried off to Bunty.” San­jay Dutt must have prob­a­bly missed a few beats but it was too late to protest. (Though to­day they are like the sun sand and the sea-in­sep­a­ra­ble). So in 1984, De­cem­ber, the Dutts and the Tulis (KG’s real sur­name) were of­fi­cially re­lated to each other. “Ac­tu­ally, I would have pre­ferred mar­ry­ing a lit­tle later,” Namrata says, a be­lated air­ing of opin­ion, it seems, “be­cause I had two great job of­fers in the US. One was from Vogue and the other was at the Dis­ney­world De­sign Cen­tre. But my dad and Bunty felt it was bet­ter we go ahead with the mar­riage.” Why was Su­nil Dutt in a great hurry? Be­cause his daugh­ter’s name was ap­pear­ing in too many siz­zling pages. “Look Anju,” my dad said, “be­cause your name gets dragged into mud, either get mar­ried or go to the US.” Namrata pre­ferred get­ting mar­ried and gag­ging the press. And wouldn’t you spare a soft lov­ing thought for this girl who

ended up be­ing gagged her­self? One year and some months later, her rain­bow idyll at her su­per rich in-laws’ sprawl­ing bun­ga­low came to the ashes. Bag, Bag­gage and Baby (the most de­light­ful cherub , who calls her­self ‘chaachi’ real name Saachi and who can steal your heart be­fore you can say cho chweet), Namrata came back to her haven and told a harm­less lie to one and all. “I told them I had come over for forty days,” she says smil­ing, “be­cause if dad knew my real in­ten­tions, it would up­set him ter­ri­bly.” Her real in­ten­tions were not to go back, that this was a tran­sit pe­riod, a time gained to heal her mind’s bruises and hunt around for her own flat, where she could be her own per­son. She is not will­ing to talk of what re­ally hap­pened . But it doesn’t need much of grey mat­ter to get at the truth. The Tulis ex­pected an ideal, stay at home bahu. In­stead they got a smart, think­ing, ca­reer con­scious woman on the go. The per­fect set­ting for do­mes­tic fac­tional fric­tions, Namrata couldn’t bow down , so she got up and left. “I can­not just be a house­wife and mother,” she says, talk­ing softly, tread­ing on egg shells, try­ing not to blurt out the blunt truth. “I never grew up think­ing just that. I am ca­reer-minded. I want to earn my own money and I don’t think I am ask­ing for too much. You know, in the last few years I have gone through hell. I lost a per­son who was a pivot in my life. I learnt to be­come a dif­fer­ent per­son, to reach out, to tackle re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, to pick the pieces around me. It wasn’t an easy life. Yet it never broke my spirit. Why? Be­cause I was given free­dom, I was al­lowed to be what I am. I wasn’t caged, re­stricted or tied down. Also, free­dom does not mean li­cense. With the kind of free­dom I en­joyed, I could have done any­thing, but I didn’t do it. Why? Be­cause I value free­dom, so I don’t abuse it. I am not made that way.” She can­not tol­er­ate any in­va­sion into her per­sonal ter­ri­tory, she says, and she is stub­born enough to sever ties if pushed too far. “I feel bad about what hap­pened but I will never al­low any­one to cage me.” Her hus­band in a mar­vel­lous vote of con­fi­dence, stuck by her (he stays with her) and Namrata wishes to thank him through these col­umns . “I never ac­tu­ally told him this but I ad­mire him tremen­dously for be­ing with me. It takes a lot of courage to do this,” she says, and quite ob­vi­ously the big­gest band-aid for her hurt was pro­vided by Bunty. Yet, “I do not stop him from go­ing there when­ever he wants to. Af­ter all, if I asked to choose be­tween him and my fam­ily, I would feel torn, ripped apart. I wouldn’t do that to him. They are his own peo­ple af­ter all.” Right now, the de­signer’s sta­tion­ary busi­ness (her ill-famed ca­reer launch), which she with two of her friends had be­gun, has closed down, be­cause all three had ba­bies and there were di­a­per sched­ules to keep up with. “One of them has gone abroad for good, so our busi­ness is as good as over,” she says re­gret­fully. Her next ca­reer-stop is at Kachins, the fa­mous fash­ion shop which ap­proached her to head an ex­clu­sive woman’s wear depart­ment, and she is thrilled to her tips and toes. “It’s a lovely lovely of­fer,“she says, and “I would love to de­sign clothes.” Her com­mer­cial art de­gree will have to lan­guish for now but who can say a lady can­not change her mind? “In fact my am­bi­tion to have my own bou­tique, like in the book Scru­ples (by Ju­dith Krantz) The Best Bou­tique in the Coun­try.” She has al­ready be­gun work on it but what is pump­ing adrenalin into her sys­tem right now is the feed­back on her fa­ther’s his­toric pa­day­a­tra. “I keep in touch with him through­out and I think it was a great thing he did. Did you know that even I wanted to go with him, ex­cept that my baby would have been with­out me?” She smiles as she re­calls how she and ev­ery­body else tried to stop Priya from go­ing alone. “I never thought she would have done it but she has done it,” she says with quiet pride. “She’s re­ally done it!” Of course she ad­mits in a lower key, she was afraid for her fa­ther. The po­lit­i­cal cli­mate is murky and who knows… “and there was his health too, and he is not get­ting younger and the strain could be bad.” But some­how this time she knew, god was with them. The worst was be­hind them all and it would only get bet­ter, with her fa­ther, “who has re­ally be­come our great­est friend now”, and her brother who is the hottest star go­ing, full of prom­ise, of no re­turn to his old bad days, with her sis­ter who has now stead­ied down, is full of stu­dious­ness and am­bi­tions, and fi­nally with her tal­ented hus­band, who is her strength and best friend. Sure, his ca­reer is not the way it should be, but star­dom is only fussy, not un­yield­ing and what’s wrong with hop­ing? .

“Sanju’s drug prob­lem was purely due to bad com­pany. He would get vi­o­lent, we would fight, even come to blows.”

Sanju and Anju, in­sep­a­ra­ble even to­day

Her hap­pi­est mo­ment. At her wed­ding with Ku­mar Gau­rav. But to­mor­row was to be an­other day

The Dutt trio, climb­ing up to bet­ter days?

...with fam­ily

Child­hood was such a cake­walk! Namrata at three

Namrata and Priya. Sis­ters in love

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