They do, they do.. again. A slickshot filmmaker and his wife, whom he first met at a beauty pageant.. separate. Five years later, love is in the air again. He woos her with roses, apologies and poetry. And so remarriage is on the cards. On the Cape Town location of his new movie, Acid Factory, Sanjay Gupta talks about why his love for Anu is forever. Khalid Mohamed listens...
Hello, good weather out here in Cape Town..
Yeah, pretty chilly but let’s not talk about the weather. There’s something I’d like to share with you. Anu and I are planning to get remarried in January.. before January 30 for sure. We were married for seven years, we remained divorced for five. We’d meet only because of our pets — Buddy who’s a pug and Yeda, a golden retriever. All these years, I remained attached to my in-laws. Anu’s father Colonel Lakhi is a retired armyman. My house in Pune is just behind theirs.
Right. I want to know more.
It’s almost like the film Milte Hain which Bosky Gulzar will direct for White Feather Films. It’s adapted from the play Act 2, a divorced couple meet up accidentally and look back at their lives. This story is pretty much bang-on.
How do you look back on the years of separation?
They were tough.. and dark. Lately, I got her an apartment which I felt she’d like.. and since then my luck has changed.
After Kaante, I’d gone through hell. The film was stalled for a year. I started drinking a lot, neglected her. And imagine ours had been a love marriage, the kind that happens in fairy tales. She had won the Miss Perfect Smile title at a beauty contest.
I proposed to her on the first day we went out. It was Valentine’s Day. Anu has her own identity as a fashion designer. After we separated, I went totally off the hook. I’ve been re-proposing to her for the last five years. A third CD in the Dus Kahaniyan album, had love poems by Gulzar. I dedicated them to her. Lamha lamha, a song in Alibaug, and Unke nashe mein in Shootout at Lokhandwala were written and composed for her. <b1>
Love according to you is..
Compatibility based on the foundation of trust.
Did she suspect that you were unfaithful?
Of course, she did.
Were these suspicions justified?
Yes, they were. We had married at a big fat traditional Punjabi wedding at the Juhu Centaur Hotel in its heyday. Neither of us thought anything could ever go wrong. But it did.. I was the guilty party. Anu is very grounded, real and blunt. My life was empty without her.
What do you think of the Sanjay Dutt-Manyata love story?
(Evasively) I knew them before they got married.. when they were going around. Since then neither of us have spoken about each other.. except for Sanjay Dutt who told Sajid Khan on a TV show that I walked out on him in the interest of my own film production banner.. instead of helping him to revive Ajanta Arts.
What do you have to say about Mr Suniel Shetty?
He tried to create problems at a point of time. I had to put a leash on his people, they were talking shit. I told them if I opened my mouth, neither they nor Mr Shetty would know where to look. Mr Shetty hacked me continuously in the press. His guys would call my office and turn very abusive. He told Hansal Mehta, we’ll see who’s standing at the end of it all. It’s okay if he issued a fatwa against certain people from attending my parties and events. But he told them not to attend my pujas also. Sick!
Today, who’s standing?
If at all, I’m the Last Man Laughing. He made Mission Istanbul out of khunnas and what a joke it turned out to be. Even the kids ridiculed it.
You don’t regret losing out on your friendship with Sanjay Dutt?
Sometimes life plays its cuts. You lose friends, you gain friends. I will no longer return to a house that is steeped in silence. Anu and I are the easygoing types.. there’ll be no more party nights.. we’ll cook, watch TV, read. At the age of 41 today, that’s where I want to be. Anu’s eight years younger then me.. but far more sensible and strong.
You said you were in hell after Kaante. But it’s your most successful film.
Kaante left me very very broke. I wasn’t paid for it. There was much infighting between the producers — Raju Patel and Pritish Nandy. I could never enjoy its success.
Okay, tell me how do you intend to change your ways after remarriage.
I’ve been born, brought up and spoilt in Bombay. Now I’ve grown up. I’ve wanted this for the longest time. I’ve been feeling lonely, desolate, listening to the songs of Kishore Kumar. Now, I have someone to share those songs with me.. again.
So, will Sanjay Dutt be invited to your wedding function?
No, it will only be for close family and friends.
Will I be invited?
(Laughs) Of course, of course, of course, what kind of question is that? Manyata? Can I get you some coffee? The espresso here is excellent.
Huh, and what about Apoorva Lakhia? Will you have biscuits with the coffee? I repeat.. Manyata? Apoorva Lakhia?
Come on, you know the answer already.
And Mr Shetty?
No. I think he’ll be too busy with Mission Istanbul Part 2.