Sanjay Dutt has had plenty of sleepless nights and uncertainty these last 14 years. With just a day to go before his sentencing, sister Priya Dutt says this night too is likely to be sleepless but hopes it is the last.
It was in 1993 that the police arrested Sanjay, charging him of conspiracy in the Mumbai serial blasts case. Last December, the special TADA court cleared him of this charge but held him guilty of illegal possession of firearms. The actor, who turned 48 this weekend, is now anxiously waiting for the judge to deliver his sentence on Tuesday.
Priya is equally anxious and sounds a little nervous as she says: "Tomorrow is the day that will determine what happens to his life, our lives."
Does she dread tomorrow? “In a way,” she tells the Hindustan Times in a telephonic interview on Monday. But it is a feeling the Dutt family has got so used to that she prefers to focus on the silver lining. "We have spent 14 long years not knowing what is going to happen. There is certainly a lot of tension, stress… but there is also the sense that it is all going to end, a bit of relief… whatever it is, we know this part of our life will come to an end," she says.
"We are just praying everything works out fine for him," the Congress MP says as she speaks of her brother's ability to put up a brave face at the worst of times. Of the brother who delivered sterling performances in films like Lage Raho Munnabhai and made millions of people smile. "But at the back of his mind, it must have always been there," she says.
Priya and a few close friends will spend the night at Sanjay's apartment on Monday and hope to sleep early. "We need to be clear-headed tomorrow."
"I am sure he (Sanjay) is not going to sleep all night. I guess even if he does try, it will be a very restless night," she says.