Friendship goals: When Late Sanjeev Kumar turned saviour for a broke Shatrughan Sinha
In the eyes of an outsider, Bollywood is a place of facades. However, despite all the artifice, there are true friendships that exist in the industry. Whether on screen or off screen, this is a bond that grows over the years between two or more people, with them seeing good and bad times together. And recently, we came to know of a fact which further enforces our believe in the existence of such B-town relationships. The fact was mentioned in actor Shatrughan Sinha‘s biography ‘Anything But Khamosh: The Shatrughan Sinha Biography’. The incident that we are talking about, happened way back in the 80s, when Shatrughan Sinha needed a hefty amount of 10 Lakh, for an unknown expenditure.
According to the actor’s biography, he first tried to sell off his flat. But, his wife-actress Poonam Sinha had some reasons for which she didn’t agree to let him do so. “I am very self-respecting and don’t like to beg anybody for anything,” explained the actor. [sic] Later, much against his wish, the actor asked filmmaker Subhash Ghai for money. The duo had worked together in films like ‘Kalicharan’ and ‘Vishwanath’, and Subhash Ghai even considered Poonam his sister (she tied rakhi to him). But, even Subhash Ghai could not help Shatrughan Sinha, citing some past reasons. The actor felt and has mentioned in his biography that Ghai kept dangling him for a long time. It was his way of trying to humiliate the actor when the latter needed money. Ghai made Sinha run around him for days and in the end couldn’t give him the money. (Also Read: Did you know? Amitabh Bachchan’s mistake on the sets led to Vinod Khanna’s injury)
During this time, Shatrughan Sinha made a visit to late veteran actor Sanjeev Kumar. The visit was one of their casual evening ones, when they met for a drink and dinner. Shatrughan Sinha says, “My friend, philosopher and guide called Sanjeev Kumar who is no more, saw me looking pensive and anxious and asked me what the matter was.” [sic]
Shatrughan’s voice rose again as he recalled, “When I told him about my problem, he merely asked me when I would be able to return it.” I told him upfront, “I don’t know, whenever I’m in a position to do so.” [sic]
“The next morning, his (Sanjeev Kumar) secretary Jamnadasji soon turned up, unannounced at my place. My staff downstairs had no clue that he was coming, nor did I. Jamnadasji came with something wrapped in a newspaper and said, “Bhai (Sir) has sent you a video cassette”. There was no video cassette inside but I found wrapped in it the amount I needed. Sanjeev Kumar had simply sent it across without even telling me about it. When I asked him what interest he wanted, he had the same philosophy that I had which was, “Where’s the question of interest between friends?” [sic]
“I had told Sanjeev, it will be payable when able. Whenever he needed some money, he’d ask me for a portion of it but I have to frankly admit that even today, even as I talk about it, I don’t know if I have returned the entire amount to Sanjeev Kumar. Some amount is still pending. But once he passed away, to whom could I have given the money? His estate had been torn apart.” [sic]
Well, a friend in need is a friend indeed.