Sanjay with Sunil and Nargis Dutt. Pic/Priya Dutt
A heart felt remembrance
A friend's social media post on what would have been the late Sunil Dutt's 88th birthday alerted us to the astonishing fact that even after more than a decade of his passing away, there isn't a single road, junction or any other memorial in his honour anywhere in Mumbai.
The havan at Priya Dutt’s house. Pic/Priya Dutt
Astonishing because in this era of runaway hyperbole and extreme PR, it is almost unimaginable that someone who had such a special connect with the Mumbaikar –especially the Bandra-ite, should haven't had half a dozen by now. "My father had expressly requested that there should be no monument in his memory; he always felt that such things were unimportant and in any case led to needless controversies. So when people approach us, we always said no," said his daughter Priya Dutt, the former MP, when we spoke yesterday. The remembrance as per their parent's wishes had been low key and heartfelt.
"We have always liked doing something special for our parents' birthdays, mom's is on the June 1 and dad's on June 6. This year too, we had a havan at my home for both of them," said Dutt who had taken on her father's political legacy after his death in 2005. "This time it was even more special because both my sons Siddharth and Sumair performed the pooja for their grand parents," she said, adding, "It was just a very small family affair.
Just me, Owen and the boys, my sister Namrata with husband Bunty (Kumar Gaurav), some of the old office folk who have been around since my parents' times, along with a few close family friends. And after the pooja, we remembered them fondly over chit chat and tea." Beats a monument or the naming of a junction any day, we say.