Sanjay Dutt

Trishala Dutt had probably not thought that news of her father, actor-producer Sanjay Dutt’s cancer diagnosis, would make headlines on her birthday, August 11. Reportedly, Baba, as the film industry calls him, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Rumour has it that he may travel to the USA for treatment. The actor’s wife Maanayata and kids, Shahraan and Iqra, on last check, were on their way back from Dubai, while his sisters, Priya and Namrata, and their respective families have been rallying around Sanjay in Mumbai.

Maanayata, in her official statement, has said, “I thank everyone who has expressed their well wishes for Sanju’s speedy recovery. We need all the strength and prayers to overcome this phase. There is a lot that the family has gone through in the past years but I am confident, this too shall pass. However, it is my heartfelt request to Sanju’s fans to not fall prey to speculations and unwarranted rumours, but to just help us with their ongoing love, warmth and support. Sanju has always been a fighter, and so has our family. God has yet again chosen to test us to overcome the challenges ahead.”

On Tuesday noon, Sanjay had tweeted, “Hi friends, I am taking a short break from work for some medical treatment. My family and friends are with me and I urge my well wishers not to worry or unnecessarily speculate. With your love and good wishes, I will be back soon!” The statement was eerily similar to Rishi Kapoor’s tweet which he had put out when he headed to the US for his blood cancer treatment. By late evening, word on Sanjay’s health was splashed all over.

On the work front, three of Sanjay’s films – Sadak 2, Bhuj: The Pride of India and Torbaaz, will soon be unpacked on OTT platforms. Sources in trade circles indicate that Bhuj: The Pride of India, Shamshera with Ranbir Kapoor, Prithviraj with Akshay Kumar and KGF Chapter 2 with Yash have portions left to be completed. While Shamshera needed patchwork, the others have bigger portions left to be completed. The actor was also expected to team up with Arshad Warsi and Sajid Samji for a comedy later this year. We reached out Karan Malhotra, who is helming Shamshera and Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi, the director of Prithviraj, but neither answered our calls and messages.

During the lockdown, Sanjay, in his interview to BT, spoke about missing his family and the fact that he would like to pen an autobiography some day. He had said, “I am using this time to connect with my family virtually, which is the first love of my life. I have already spent periods of my life in a lockdown. Back then and even now, the one thought that stays with me is about my family. For me, it’s everything. When the lockdown was announced, unfortunately Maanayata and my children were already in Dubai. Thanks to technology, I hear them , see them, talk to them multiple times in a day and yet, I miss them terribly. These times teach you about the fragility of life, and to truly appreciate and enjoy every moment you get with your loved ones. To count your blessings, and never take them for granted.”

About writing his memoir, he had said, “I would love to write a memoir someday. I have led such a varied life- seen so many highs and so many lows. It has been a life lived for sure. The idea is there, perhaps someday…”