People continue to question your right to take over Sanjay’s life?
I know. But what I want to say, I’ve the right to live with my husband the way I want to. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a prostitute or a princess, a wife has certain rights in her husband’s home. I’m not a man living in a woman’s house.
Sanjay has said girls shouldn’t stick to their husband’s name after marriage?
That’s is his personal opinion. Sanju would’ve been offended and insulted if I had continued using my father’s name. If other wives want to use their maiden names it’s their choice. He feels it a fashion to do so these days. He has the right to an opinion.
What’s your take on this?
Having a married a man who takes care of all my needs, I’d like to accept his name with full honour and take charge of his home and accept his family as my family. If you can’t accept your husband’s name and family then why marry? Go in for a live-in relationship.
Mrs Indira Gandhi was married to someone not as famous as the Nehrus. But she didn’t fight all those glorious battles as ‘Indira Nehru. ‘. And now Priyanka calls herself a Wadhera after her husband, not a Gandhi.
Over a year since your marriage and Sanjay’s sisters haven’t accepted you?
I’m not someone to push for acceptance. I have never nagged Sanju for anything. I leave space for options.
Sanju knows I’ve tried to do as much in my capacity (to find acceptance with the sisters). Beyond that he wouldn’t like me to push myself to try any further. Neither would I.
But does it hurt?
There’re very few people I trust. My friends go back to 20-22 years. They can hurt me, not others. When Sanju stands by me like a pillar of strength nothing else matters. Sanju said to you that if his mom was alive she’d have approved of me. What more can I want?
You’ve been attacked from the time you married Sanjay Dutt?
I’ll tell you something, wherever there’s power there’s bound to be a lot of conspiracy hovering around that source of power. And let’s fact it, Sanju is very powerful. Every producer wants to work with him. Sanjay never understood the nitty-gritty of finances.
And if he hasn’t accumulated a huge bank balance, it isn’t because he hasn’t earned money. He did. But he lost all of it. There were too many people around him trying to use him. I came like a barricade in Sanju’s life to stand between him and those who want to use him. Naturally these fair-weather friends resent me. I spoilt their party, you see.
But to be looked on with so much hostility and suspicion by Sanjay’s friends cant be easy for you.
No one in the world can get a hundred percent votes. Even Prophet Mohamed, Jesus Christ, Gandhiji were not spared. I am such a small fry. No matter how sincere you are in your purpose, there will be people who will try to pull you down. It’s the way our world functions.
You refuse to speak against Sanjay’s family although they speak against you?
I am a woman. And I am Sanju’s wife. It does hurt me. But I keep a dignified silence because firstly my parents have brought me up to believe it’s undignified to hit out at people publicly. Secondly, it’s my husband’s family and he loves them.
So for his sake I wouldn’t like to hurt him by saying anything. Finally I think keeping quiet under attack is far more courageous than attacking someone.
But how much will you take?
At no point of time, no matter what the provocation would I want to wash my dirty linen in public. I’m not that kind of person.
People think I’m arrogant and rude. The fact is, I’m very reserved by nature. I only open up with people I jell with. I speak straight from my heart. If I’m uncomfortable in company I won’t wear a fake choga and pretend to be having a good time.
But silence beyond a point is misconstrued for guilt?
Let people draw what conclusion they want. I know what I’m doing in Sanju’s life. I ‘m a silent observer. I know exactly whom I want in life. I’ll stand by them even when they are disowned by the world. As for the ones I don’t want in my life I don’t even want to cross their path.
You’ve put your own life aside to look after Sanjay?
I don’t think any job is as hard as to look after your husband’s home. Any other job ends at 6 pm. At home when it’s time to call it a day, your husband walks in. And the day begins again. It’s a 24-hour challenge. And I love challenges.
Sanjay had so many girlfriends. But he found a home-maker in you?
But it’s not as if I only look after his home. I’m also look after Sanjay Dutt Productions. We decided he’d produce his own films to make sure the downslide doesn’t take him by surprise. Let face it. Sanju is a superstar. But he isn’t Amitabh Bachchan. Even Amitji went through a downslide.
Every actor goes through it. And then he reappears in smaller roles. I don’t want that to happen to Sanju. As it is, he hasn’t secured his bank balance. We jointly decided to start our production house, so we could generate the kind of work that Sanju deserves. I look after the finances of the production house, Sanju looks after the creative aspects.
He has 30 years of experience. The production plans give me a big high.
How have you controlled his finances?
I wouldn’t like to name them. But some people for whom Sanju was taking on unnecessary expenses have been stopped.
Sanju was implementing financial responsibilities that were not his. That has also made some people hate me. But his finances were being handled by the wrong people. There was so much ghapla in his accounts. If I open my mouth about it no one will be spared.
Has Sanjay brought stability to your life?
Oh yes. I’ve never been happier. I’ve got the best man any woman could get. Sanju has stood by me through thick and thin. I’ve known him for 9 years. We started seeing each other seriously in 2005. But he knew my past. So when ‘friends’ tried to provoke him he just laughed it off.
He knew everything about me. When I was going through hell before my marriage I’d pick up the phone and asked him for help. We’re both very positive people and we like to live and let alone. We both believe in forgiving. And we believe every saint can have a past. And every sinner can have a future.