On the occasion of Father’s Day, Sanjay Dutt’s 26-year-old daughter, Trishala Dutt tells us how she is dealing with her father’s jail term, how the situation has strengthened her, and why she never wanted to be just another star kid on the block.
Dad will be back with a bang
I sent him (Sanjay Dutt) a Father’s Day message already, but for his fans, I can say that they must watch out when he comes back, because he’s going to be back with a bang, as usual. He is someone you can’t break, and I’m sure his fans will be completely blown away once he’s back. Even I’m excited, [and] I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do.
People expected me to cry when dad went to jail
We write letters to each other all the time, so that’s how we keep in touch. When he went to jail, and I knew I wasn’t going to hear regularly from him for the next two-three years, that’s when I realised that it’s time to grow up. Yes, I was sad, but I had to be strong for my family and myself. I’m not a child anymore, and I think some people forget that, and expected me to cry publicly, because everyone has seen me in my baby stages while I was growing up in Bollywood, but that’s not who I am anymore. Tough situations really strengthen you as a person.
Didn’t want to be just another star kid
I never wanted to be like the other “star children”, and piggyback on the family name. If I did, how would I be different from anyone else? I really respect actors who worked hard and made it on their own, without the help from anyone else, except their own will and determination.
I’m currently doing that, and it feels great to build something on your own. Anyone who has worked hard for what they have today should know the feeling I’m talking about. There are so many challenges out there. I’ve faced many, and I’ve faced rejection as well. Rejection is what made me work harder, it did not weaken me. Whenever I see a hurdle coming my way, I just shrug it off and welcome the challenge with open arms.
No Bollywood dreams…anymore
The reason why I wanted to do films was because I wanted to be close to my father — it’s as simple as that. He obviously did not care about that, and today, I thank him. As a woman in Bollywood, I’ve been seeing it for myself over the past five to six years — you don’t last. It’s a very male-dominated industry, and I’m not the type of person to only work for 10 years, out of which for four years I will be building my niche, work for five to six years more, then get married, have children, after which [my] career takes a backseat, because someone new, young, and fresh is ready to take over. I’m not up for that life. I believe in building a solid empire with my name on it.
Dad told me, "Don’t be stupid like I was"
I’m still learning what the definition of "friend" means. I recently had an incident, where I expected my close friends to be there for me when I really needed them, and they were not present. I felt like calling up my father when this happened, because in one of his letters, he told me very clearly, "don’t do everything for your friends, never let someone use you, don’t be stupid like I was". His words were haunting me that day when I needed my friends to be there for me, and when they were not. I felt so stupid. I think that was the first time I felt lonely and missed my father a lot. He would have been the perfect person to tell me what had happened, and given me great advice on how to handle that situation. But I got a good life lesson out of that.
(As told to Neha Sharma Dangwal)
Read: Trishala Dutt in pictures