Sanjay Dutt on the set in Vasai. Pic/Satej Shinde
Sonil Dedhia (MID-DAY; April 27, 2017)

On a a hot Tuesday afternoon, the distant suburb of Vasai is brimming with people, music and vibrant hues. A tiny lane, bustling with residents, leads us away from the central junction towards the defunct Janki theatre, which now serves as a waiting area for the crew of Sanjay Dutt’s comeback film, Bhoomi, to unwind.

After a hectic 50 day schedule across Agra and Mumbai, the unit is gearing up for the last day of shoot on this set, where mid-day catches an exclusive glimpse of the actor in action. The scene is set in a market, recreated to replicate the bylanes of Agra.

Enthusiastic fans hurdled outside Janki, whistling and cheering as they wait to see their favourite actor. Baba, Munna, they call out as Sanju arrives, even asking him for a jaadu ki jhappi. The actor doesn’t disappoint. He greets his fans, shakes their hands and even obliges a few lucky ones with selfies. “I have been in the industry for more than 35 years and my fans have supported me through my good and bad times. They didn’t abandon me. It’s a wonderful feeling to connect with them. It’s rare to receive so much love and respect. I want to give it back to them via the form that I understand the best, that is cinema,” the actor says, adding that his selection of movies is aligned with his fan’s demands.

Sanju adds, “The experience of working on Bhoomi has been amazing. The entire team has been supportive. It’s been a fruitful film for all of us and I’m now looking forward to watching it on the big screen.”