“Sanju Knew About Mahesh Babu,” Namrata Shirodkar

Namrata Shirodkar happily married to  Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu, once had a blooming career  in Bollywood.

And  the  only co-star she  recalls with wistful  affection is Sanjay Dutt. They did  Dutt’s  best film Vaastav and then its sequel Hathyar together.

Namrata  brightens  up when she speaks of Dutt. “Is he really 60 now? How time  flies! I always recall Sanju as a child-man , very  gentle and vulnerable. I  was  and  I am extremely fond of him. He  is  one of my favourite co-stars.”

 In  her  7-year  Bollywood career Namrata didn’t  socialize with  any of her co-stars.  “The  camaraderie and  warmth were restricted  to the sets. It started at  9 am and ended at  6  pm. But I did have a terrific rapport withSanjay. I  recall him as a warm chivalrous  and  protective  co-star. Whenever we were shooting in crowds he would look after me and my female  team .He’d ensure  the crowds  didn’t come too  close .I don’t remember any other co-star,  or for that matter anyone from the  cast or crew, being so concerned about my safety.”

So safe  and comfortable did Namrata feel with Dutt that he was the  first and  only co-star who got to know about her relationship with Mahesh Babu.

Recalls Namrata, “I did confide in Sanju about Mahesh. He  would pull my leg endlessly  about it and  he would speak in riddles about Mahesh  in  front of  the unit.”

Says Namrata fondly, “I think he is  highly misunderstood  by a lot of  people around him. Sanju is  the  kind of friend who will stand with you at 3 am.”

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