Sanjay Dutt: Jail Diary

Sanjay Dutt: Jail Diary

Jail Diary is a journey into the mind space of a man serving his term inside the prison - a man reared in the lap of luxuries and an actor loved by...

Jail Diary is a journey into the mind space of a man serving his term inside the prison - a man reared in the lap of luxuries and an actor loved by millions It is the day before Sanjay Dutt has to surrender and he is nervous as hell. He has not slept a wink in many days and as the hours go by, Sanjay trembles with fear. He wants to be brave but cannot fight his tears. If only he could turn the clock and live his life again but all he has now is regrets. Late night when everyone has retired, Sanjay and Manyata tiptoe into the children's room and watch the twins sleep peacefully. They stay awake all night holding each other's hands waiting for the dawn that that will change their life forever.
Day 1: Sitting by the window looking at the first ray of the orange sun stream into his bedroom, something triggers inside Sanjay and his mentor Mahesh Bhatt is the first to notice it when he arrives a few hours later at Imperial Heights, Sanjay's residence. Mahesh senses that something has happened overnight that helped Sanjay find strength within him to face his destiny. He is scheduled to leave home at 1.30pm and minutes before that the entire family with all the children forms a circle holding hands and chants a prayer. His sister applies a vermillion tilak on her brother's exactly the way their mother had bid farewell to all of them every time anyone departed on a long journey. One by one Sanjay embraces every member of the family and staff and after a long, lingering look at his home, he steps out of the house towards the iron gate of the bungalow behind which wait innumerable media cameras. A motorcade of cars led by the police jeep blaring a siren drives from Pali Hill, but there is another road block from the media at the Tada Court that prevents him from stepping out of the car. Sanjay pleads with the media to let him go inside because he has a deadline but they are unrelenting. Finally, Sanjay jumps out of his Innova car and walks through the crowd hit on the shoulder and chest by TV camera crews.
Inside the court, Dutt is ushered into the accused box, while his advocate Rizwan Merchant seeks permission from judge to allow his client to carry thin mattress and pillow as he suffers from stenosis in both his limbs and electric cigarettes without which he is prone to migraine attacks. Merchant requests home food and family visit for his client. Home food is granted for a month while order for family visits is yet to be passed. Judge agrees to all except cigarette, says 'Quit smoking'. Day 2: Barrack number 12 at Arthur Road Central Jail is where Ajmal Kasab was put up a few months ago. Kasab was on the first floor while Sanjay and Yusuf Nalwala are on the first floor. The cell referred as Aanda is dark and suffocating so Sanjay spends the night chatting with Nulwala. At dawn he distracts himself reading religious books he has carried from home and at 5am Sanjay rises to do his regular workout followed by snacks served in the prison. Time moves slow inside prison. At shootings, Sanjay never remembered lunch break but inside the cell -lunch, tea break and dinner are indicators of movement of time, of day embracing night followed by another day and night... Day 3: Sanjay wakes up in cold sweat thinking it is Sunday and what his family must be doing at this time without him at home. For the last many years he had made it a point to not work on Sundays so that he can spend time with his kids. There are talks that he may be shifted to Yerwada Jail in Pune tomorrow morning and hopes he will be able to see his family before that. The mere thought of meeting his wife and sister once again fills him with hope and he prays that his wish be granted. Wife Manyata and sister Priya Dutt arrive at the court but the media havoc outside delays formalities and at 6 pm the doors of court are closed on visitors. Sanjay learns about what has happened from a guard and does not react. It is his second night in the ill ventilated cell � and the midsummer heat is terrible! Sanjay spreads his thin mattress on the floor with then drops his head on the pillow brought from home. He shuts his eyes to dream, not sleep... Day 4: It is past midnight and Sanjay paces the floor thinking. Today is his fourth night in the prison but there are no signs of it becoming easier. He tries diverting his mind and reading, but is never easy to focus when you are anxious. Sanjay wonders why he is not being shifted to Pune. His lawyer and he were under the impression that he would be shifted Yerwada Jail the following day but there seems to be a change of plan. Sanjay wonders what that plan could be. Merchant pleads that his client should be moved out of the present barrack housed by convicts like Kasaab because "My client is not a terrorist." Meeran Borwankar, Additional Director General of Police, Prisons clarifies that Arthur Road Jail houses both, convicts and under trials and infact Kasaab was an exception because they needed to secure him in a bomb free barrack. "Dutt has been housed in the high security cell" explains Borwankar, "because we have been warned that there is threat to the actor's life." Day 5: Sanjay wakes up with a sinking feeling. It is evident to him now that the police have no intentions of shifting him to Yerwada Jail in near future. If only they would shift him out of this dark hole without air or sunshine. He wonders what time of the day it is and what his children would be doing at this time. His wife Manyata had put up a brave front when she accompanied him to the court but he wonders how long she can continue to be strong. He wonders how long he can continue to be strong. Sanjay thinks of his father Sunil Dutt whose life was a series of adversities. Sitting in this dark room with the walls coming on to him, Sanjay wonders how and from where he derived his strength from every time. Sanjay feels weak but he knows that if he makes an effort he will be able to face these cruel times. Bhawana [email protected]
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