Sanjay Dutt on drugs and jail-time at Mind Rocks 2017: I don’t want my son to be like me

New Delhi: Sanjay Dutt arrived to a deafening round of applause at the India Today Mind Rocks 2017 Delhi. The actor was speaking at a session called Living On The Edge: Youth Is Not For Wasting. “Don’t always think from your heart. Use your brains too at times,” is how Sanjay Dutt began his session at Mind Rocks 2017 Delhi.
Excerpts from his session:
I got on to drugs in college. I got hooked on to it. It took me about 10 years to get out of it. I’m lucky that I had the means and provision to get out of it. Stay high on life, man! On your family, on your work. There’s no substance that can make you high. I speak from experience.
It is an easy escape, related to being really cool. Then you get addicted to it… if a donkey dies, you drink; a dog dies, you drink.
It is never a one-time experience. It becomes a vicious cycle. Rehab is a good place. When I arrived there, they took my passport away. They told me it was a very spiritual programme and I wanted to run away from there. I told my counsellor that I saw a man in my dream who asked me to go home. He told me Sanjay, that was God. And he told me, “Didn’t he tell you, you were going to be here for 2 years?”
It was nice to be loved by people. Especially by the ladies. I was in three relationships at one point of time. You need to be clever… one shouldn’t know what is happening with the other.
My conviction was based on the piece of paper, my confession, on which it was written that they found me in possession of a weapon. But they never found the weapon. Weapon ka shauk hai… it’s all rubbish. Keep a good company.It was a weapon… I wasn’t hanging out with any crowd that had access to any weapons. It was my producers who asked me if I wanted a weapon.
Jail is not a rehab. It is jail. This time when I went in to jail, I thought I was going to be here for 4 years… let me make something positive out of it. I am a follower of Lord Shiva. I read books connected with the Hindu religion. I learnt a lot. Now when a pandit comes to conduct a havan, I tell them that I know better than them. I am a big Sylvester Stallone fan. I watched Rocky and I said that if he could do it, why not I. I started body-building, a six-pack and all. Producers never understood. They asked me why I was going to the gym. Fitness is a great form of meditation and relaxing.
Being high on the set was just for a year or two. Then I went to rehab. Then I came back and I was totally clean. Then I began body-building.
Both Munna Bhai and Vaastav are amazing films. Totally different. Khalnayak was an experience for me. Agneepath… I went in to jail while shooting for Khalnayak. I finished shooting after coming out of jail. I don’t blame anybody saying that Sanjay Dutt was not a role model. Because the magnitude of the case was such. I was acquitted from the charges of TADA and I was convicted in the Arms Act. Jai Bhole!
My father raised us as normal children. I was sent to a boarding school. I went through the grind. I am the same way with my kids. I try to teach them values. Respect for elders is necessary. You need to respect and value life. I just pray that my son doesn’t turn out to be like me. Because what my dad went through with me, I don’t want to go through with my child.
My mother could never believe that I could do any wrong. It is the same with any mother.
I loved the Tamma Tamma remake with Varun and Alia. They danced so well… I rehearsed for a month because I had to dance with Madhuri Dixit.
I am happy. I want to play roles which are my age. I don’t want to be in that same old rut. That’s why I did Bhoomi, it is a father-daughter film. The way Denzel Washington, Mel Gibson, Liam Neeson do in Hollywood… I want to be a tough 50-year-old guy.
I’m lucky and humbled that they are making a biopic on a guy who is still alive. Ranbir has done a fantastic job, there is nobody better than Rajkumar Hirani. We will be shooting for Munna Bhai 3. We start shooting in October, November next year.
Be safe. Come home early, stay away from drugs. I will keep talking… listen to your parents. They love you, that is why they are always after you. Learn from my mistake and don’t break the law, please. See my example. Stay away from drugs. We love India. Jai Hind!

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