Whenever I am asked to name my favourite actor, I stop, hesitate and think. I have no clear favorites, but some names do spring up on the mind. Dev Anand, while he was young, Aamir Khan barring a few seriously pathetic movies, and and Sunil Dutt. Hang on! I liked him in all his movies. So he’s probably my favourite actor!!!!
I can never forget Sunil Dutt in ‘ Mera Saya’. As he cried over Sadhna’s corpse, I would have given my life to be in her shoes. The light of truth that shone in his eyes, when he stood in the courtroom later, challenging the existence of his wife. I loved Sunil Dutt in ‘Padosan’- where he played the simple boy in love with Saira Banu- the winsome lass next door. And years later, I loved Sunil Dutt in ‘Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.’ when he played father to his son Sanjay Dutt. But his most stellar performance must have been in ‘Mother India’ where he played son to Nargis.
Today Sunil Dutt died.
I am told that he championed the cause of the poor and the sick. He was our Sports Minister till today and that he will always be remembered as an upright honest gentleman. I still recall, how he defended Sanjay Dutt when the latter was arrested under TADA and how he felicitated our cricket players in Eden Gardens. I remember seeing him in ‘Jeena Isi Kaa Naam Hain’ where he was so overcome by emotion that it was difficult to make out his words. The Prime Minister has flown to Mumbai for his cremation. There are organizations that have benefited by him and they have come to be with him in these last hours. The media covered his death all day. They say, he was the original actor-turned-politicians. The rest are pretenders. They say he was good human being.
For me its immaterial how he was. For me he will always be Sunil Dutt, who wept inconsolably when Sadhna dies in ‘Mera Saya’ That’s the image that will linger on……