Karan Johar bringing back the iconic Bollywood couple of Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt in his next period drama Kalank can be touted as one of the biggest casting coups of the year. The duo will be seen sharing the screen space almost after a gap of 25 years and their coming back together has taken us back to the era of the 1990s when both of them created headlines not just for their work but for their alleged relationship.
Back in the 1990s, dancing diva Madhuri Dixit and the Khalnayak of Bollywood Sanjay Dutt were allegedly in love. Before and after the release of their film Saajan in 1991, the two superstars of the era became the subject of the cover stories of many film magazines. There were many who reported about the camaraderie of Madhuri and Sanjay on the sets of their films. Sanjay and Madhuri starred in Khatron Ke Khiladi (1988), Ilaaka (1989), Kanoon Apna Apna (1989), Thanedaar (1990), Saajan (1991), Khalnayak (1993), Sahibaan (1993) and Mahaanta (1997).
There was a time when Madhuri without any inhibitions talked fondly about Dutt in her interviews. An excerpt from Yasser Usman’s book ‘Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story of Bollywood’s Bad Boy’ mentioned Madhuri’s quote on Dutt from her earlier interviews. “My favourite partner is Sanjay Dutt, he’s a real joker…and his stories make me laugh all the time, but he is also a gentleman,” told Madhuri to an interviewer. To another, she said, “Sanju is a fantastic person. He has a loving heart and, in contrast to the widely held view, a good sense of humour. He is the only guy who makes me laugh all the time. He does not play games. He is open and uncomplicated.” Her interviews led to strong whispers of a mutual attraction between the two though nothing was said officially either by Madhuri or by Sanjay.
Watch| Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt dancing on the song “Tamma Tamma Loge”
The film magazines like Star & Style magazine, Filmfare and others did cover stories on the two actors and many insiders from the industry believed that the two will be get married. But it was Khalnayak director Subhash Ghai who said that Dutt will never marry Madhuri. This buzz around Dutt’s personal life reached his first wife Richa in New York where she had gone for her cancer treatment, mentions Yasser Usman in his book. Disturbed by the happenings in her husband’s life, Richa returned to India in 1992 with daughter Trishala. On returning, she gave an interview where she expressed her wish of getting back with her husband, “We’ve been apart for so long, we’re not totally in tune with each other. But it is nothing serious, we can overcome it. I did ask Sanjay if he was going to divorce me and he said absolutely not. As for me, I don’t want a divorce. I’ve come down because I want to be with him again.”
But, within fifteen days Richa returned to New York and gave another interview and said, “I love him with all my heart. Whatever happens, I will always stand by him. He treated me very shabbily when I came down to meet him.” Her sister Ena Sharma, in an interview with CineBlitz in December 1992, blamed Madhuri for her sister’s separation with her husband Sanjay. “Madhuri is so inhuman…I mean Madhuri can get any man she wants. How can she go for a man who’s behaved in such a way with his wife?…I know they are good friends because he’s called her from our house. And he does talk to her brother and her sister here. But we never looked at it as if “okay the guy’s involved with Madhuri”. We’re very open, we’ve always given Sanjay his space,” she was quoted as saying.
However, their much-talked-about relationship took a different turn when Sanjay was arrested for illegal possession of arms in 1993 Mumbai serial blast case. Madhuri decided to entirely dissociate herself from Sanjay after the latter was imprisoned.
After he walked out of the prison for a short period in October 1993, Sanjay Dutt talked at length about the dark days of his life and his relationship with Madhuri to film magazine called Movie Magazine. When the interviewer asked Dutt how he felt when Madhuri categorically denied being involved with him, he replied, “I didn’t get affected by her statement. I have been her colleague and I have done a lot of films with her. See, I need to establish a proper rapport with all my co-stars, it may be Madhuri or Sridevi. For instance, during the first few days of Gumraah, I wasn’t comfortable because you know how Sridevi is. She is aloof and I had to get talking to her. So what Madhuri said didn’t bother me that much, in fact, it didn’t bother me at all.”
Watch| Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt in Saajan
Further, he revealed that he went up to Madhuri to apologise for all the ongoing rumours about them being together. He said, “This story broke out around the time of Saajan. In fact, when the story broke out in the press, she was shooting for Khel in Kenya. So, when we had a schedule of Saajan after that, I went up and said sorry to her. Because she was under public scrutiny for no fault of her. She took it well.” On being asked if he really dated the Tezaab star, he quipped, “I wish I had a scene going on with Madhuri. But I don’t. Look I get friendly to every co-star of mine. If you see me with Raveena Tandon, you will feel I am having an affair with her too.” About the marriage rumours, he added, “There has to be something on between us for me to marry her.”
Last year, the grapevine was abuzz with reports of Madhuri asking the Dutt biopic director Rajkumar Hirani to remove all references of the actor from his movie. But later the actor cleared the air and told Mid-Day in an interview, “For where I am today, this [the topic of Dutt] has become redundant. Life has come a long way since then. I don’t know where these reports are coming from. In any case, it doesn’t make a difference to me.”
With so much being said about the actors and so much written about them in the past, the fans of this iconic couple are waiting to see them share the frame once again in Kalank which will hit theatres on April 19, 2019.