Meet Trishala, Daughter of Sanjay Dutt

She is beautiful, young and like her father speaks straight from her heart. Meet Trishala Dutt, Sanjay Dutt’s only child and the apple of his eyes…

Early Memories…

I’ve spent my entire childhood being raised in Queens, New York. Unfortunately, when I was little, my mother got very ill. But she was a strong woman and even though she was so sick, she still took care of me very well. I often wonder why God had to take my mother away from me, as it is pretty hard growing up without a mother. My mother used to call me her ‘baby doll’, and in a picture album that we have, she wrote me a message saying how much she loves me and that I mean the entire world to her. I will treasure that forever, and will always miss her presence in my life. But I’ve grown up fine, as I have an awesome family behind me.

Growing Up…

My grandparents, my mom’s parents, are amazing. They always tell me that they see my mother through me and I feel so proud to hear that. My aunts, Abha and Enna, have fulfilled my every whim and given me immense love. They have helped me through so much in my life. Without them, I have no idea what I would be doing. My aunt Enna lives with me and out of everyone from my mother’s side, I’m the closest to her. She is my support system. She is strict when she needs to be but is also very protective about me. Enna has sacrificed a lot for me and I’m very thankful to her. She and my dad have spoilt me to death.

Family…

I am very proud to be a part of the Dutt legacy. My dadaji (the late Sunil Dutt) was a fabulous person and absolutely doted on me. And every time he would come to New York, the first phone call he would make would be to me. He would take me to the most lavish restaurants in town. His death was a huge shock to the entire family, especially me. I felt as if a part of me had died. I thank God that I was able to be so close to him. I wish I could have met my grandmother (Nargis), who was absolutely gorgeous and had such a beautiful smile. I love her movies and watch them all the time. At times, when I am in a philosophical mood, I just tell myself that my dadaji, dadi and mother have gone for a long vacation and it’s just a matter of time until we meet again.
My other aunts (Priya and Namrata) are also great fun to be with and I am very close to my two cousins, Saachi and Siya (Namrata and Kumar Gaurav’s daughters). They are not even my cousins – they are my sisters! You won’t believe the amount we laugh when we are together. In India, I’m very close to Ranbir and Riddhima Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor’s children) because Ranbir studied here in the US and my aunt Enna was his guardian. Out here, my classmate Farah is one of my closest friends.

Education…

My mother wanted me to attend a private school because she felt they offered better education. But, believe me, I do not recommend private schooling to anybody. I went through hell with the teachers and other students. Honestly, I never knew children could be so mean. And private school teachers were not really kind towards small children. When I felt I couldn’t handle it any longer, I told my mom and grandparents about it. They immediately switched me to a public school. Coming out of the restricted private school atmosphere was absolute freedom. My confidence went up several notches and I ended up being very popular in high school. When I graduated in June 2006, I realized that I would really miss those days.

Life in the US…

I feel I can be myself here in the US — I do not have to worry about anyone recognizing me and reporting back to others exactly in detail about who I am, what I am wearing, whether I am nice or stuck up etc. I can go to college, work hard, and still relax. Being brought up in the US is pretty cool. You’re not judged harshly and I guess I like that. Of course, I have restrictions — I’m only allowed to go out once a week with friends when college starts. I also have a 11 p.m. deadline, and sometimes if I ask nicely and if I’ve been good, then my
folks stretch it a bit by half-an-hour. But I’m still trying to negotiate with my family. I do kid at times and tell them that for every year that I get older, my curfew time should get bumped up by an hour. I have not got my answer from them yet, though I’m still trying! But jokes apart, today, thanks to my upbringing, I don’t hesitate in speaking my mind and telling people exactly what I feel, good or bad.

Choosing a career in law…

I decided to get a degree in law from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. I want to arm myself with a degree in law, both for dad and myself. Dad is very proud that I am studying for a law degree. He had told me once that education is very important for an individual and I should always make sure that I complete whatever I start. And that is exactly what I’m going to do.

Ultimate Dream…

Honestly, if I get a chance, in a heartbeat, I would fight as a lawyer for my father. My mouth would not stop rattling until my point had been heard, and until I get what I want. I would continue fighting until I hear the answer my ears want to hear. You can say I’m a fighter as well, who is not scared to say what is right. If I feel something can be done, I will not sleep until it is done. And if I know in my heart that nothing can be done, then at least there is the satisfaction that I tried and did the best I could to give justice to my father!

Daddy’s daughter…

I did not get a chance to be close to my dad during my childhood for various factors, ranging from my mother’s illness to my father’s court case… And I remember how much I used to crave for dad then! My earliest memories of him are very vivid. I remember once when dad came to New York, we (my grandparents, dad and aunt) all went out for dinner. After dinner, dad had to leave because he had a flight to catch. I remember crying and telling him not to leave me. He said something I’ll never forget: ‘Whenever you miss me and feel sad, I want you to close your eyes, and I’ll be right there.’ Even today when I think about it, I get very emotional.

Tough Times…

Dad has been through hell and back, for so many years. When he went to jail the first time, I was so young that I did not know what was going on until much later. Over the years, I’ve realized what he has gone through and how much he has suffered. His jail sentence has hurt me tremendously and I’m completely drained emotionally and physically. I can just imagine how bad it must be for dad. But dad is a fighter, and whatever happens, he will always come out a winner. Today, I’ve realized how brave he really is. If I were him, I would have gone crazy with whatever has happened. But he has stood tall and strong. Honestly, not only is he my father, he is my hero.

Accepting Dad’s relationships…

Recently, I was asked questions about my dad’s personal life. I had answered that I wanted to be the only woman in my father’s life. By this, I did NOT mean it in a way as if I were very possessive of him! He is my father but he has the right to do whatever he
wants. I can say what I feel but at the end of the day, it is his decision to be with whomsoever he wants, which is how it should be!
But I know my opinion means a lot to him and I am sure that no one will ever come between us. Since I have not spent much time with him during my childhood, I do not want anyone coming between ‘our time together’ now. I want to be able to make up for those lost years. All I’d like to say is that my relationship with dad is perfect.

An acting career...

My dad has never said ‘no’ to me for Bollywood. Yes, I know he would not approve. But he does have a soft spot for me, so I think it will be okay later on. But before I do anything, I will complete my degree in law. Maybe in about three years or so, after I complete my degree, I may come down to Mumbai and join films. My options are open.
I really can’t pinpoint what kind of role I’d like to do, but I think I would like to do some challenging roles that show off my acting prowess. I would love to do a father-daughter film with my dad. I think the emotions that would come out of that would be strong, especially since he and I already have such a strong emotional bond. I did get a few Hollywood offers but I had to turn them down because of my college. My studying schedule is very tough and I did not want to be left behind in any of my classes. Nevertheless, as an actor, I would not want to start off the way my father started off — absolutely raw. Simply because nowadays, you need to have some basic knowledge of acting as that makes you much smarter and more prepared for the role. I have dabbled in short term acting courses, like the one I used to go to at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in New York every summer. But this summer, I gave it a miss, as I was too tense about my father’s case.

Dad, the actor…

My dad is a fantastic actor. When I was a child, I did not know how big a celebrity my father was! Now I know how superb an actor my dad is and have watched so many of his films. My favourite film of his is ‘Vaastav’ because his role in it is so unique and the ending, so emotional and strong. Every time I see it, I just go weak. ‘Munnabhai MBBS’
and ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ too are amazing and I have watched them so many times — I do not think I have ever laughed so hard watching any film! I am so proud that Sanjay Dutt is my father. In fact, just calling him ‘dad’ puts a smile on my face.

Hope for the future…

My father deserves to be a free man. He has suffered enough! He has changed so much in these past years. I’ve lost my mother and now, keep dreading that my dad will be taken away from me. But I’m going to be brave, like he told me to be. And I know everything will be all right! My father deserves his freedom and honestly, today, all I want to say is that I just want to see him happy, healthy and free… That is all I wish for!

All I’d like to tell dad is: Dad, I’m always with you and I love you. You’re such a brave person and I hope one day, I can be just as brave as you are. I have faith in God and I know everything will turn out well. Not a day goes by when I do not miss you. I really love you and have full faith that you’ll emerge a winner!

Source: Savvy magazine
 
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