of course we all know that Sridevi worked with Sanjay Dutt in one film that is Gumrah, but have you wondered before why they never worked in the 1980s? Sanjay Dutt was paired with many actresses from the 1980s be it Padmini Kolhapure, Anita Raj, Amrita Singh, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Madhuri Dixit, Mandakini, Jaya Prada, Farha, Sonam, Rati Agnihotri, Tina Munim & others but never with the No.1 actress of the 80s decade Sridevi?
Well, the answer is there and probably some of you know it. Maybe there are others who don't know about it hence we will explain as the story was told by Sanjay Dutt himself in one of his interviews to Filmfare magazine. Sridevi's side of story is unknown because she never talks about what happens behind the cameras.
The incident goes back to 1983 when Sridevi was shooting for Himmatwala. Those days as Sanjay said were not his best days and he was not proud of them. He was hooked on alcohol and drugs most of the time. A friend told him about this chand ka tukda girl (Sridevi) working with Jeetendra. Sanjay went to the sets to see this girl while he was very high! The shooting was outdoors and Sridevi was in her trailer. He knocked the door and Sridevi opened the door. Sanjay says he cannot remember exactly what he said and how he behaved but it was not a good moment and Sridevi was horrified and immediately shut the door. That was the first impression Sridevi got from him. A not good one. We don't know if there were movies they were offered together but what we know that if Sridevi was signed as the heroine of a film Sanjay Dutt would not be the hero!
In the end of 1980s when Sridevi was signed for Zameen, she was the first actor who signed the film before all the male actors of the film, Vinod Khanna, Sanjay Dutt & Rajnikanth. The film makers assured her that she will not be having scenes with Sanjay Dutt & that he is paired with Madhuri Dixit. So there was no problem. But that film got shelved due to problems and never saw the light!
Sridevi with Sanjay Dutt & Shilpa Shirodkar in a scene from Khuda Gawah
After that there was the chance of working together in Khuda Gawah, a movie which Sridevi & Amitabh Bachchan signed in 1988. So many changes happened in the cast and crew of that film. Sanjay Dutt and Farha were casted but they walked out eventually and were replaced by Nagarjuna and Shilpa Shirodkar. Sridevi by that time did not mind working with Sanjay as this film was very important to her. Sanjay Dutt shot many scenes for the film but was very uncomfortable on the sets because of the Jumma Chumma (Hum) & Tamma Tamma (Thanedaar) controversy. Amitabh Bachchan was not happy that Bappi Lahiri copied his film tune and also claimed that he was the first that composed it. Even choreographer Saroj Khan was kicked out of the film due to her attitude problem and she was betting that Tamma Tamma was to be the bigger hit which did not happen. Amitabh and the film makers decided it would be best if she is out of the whole project. Later Saroj was brought back to choreograph one song after Sridevi insisted on having her back.
In this video you can see Amitabh Bachchan talking about the whole issue.
Many don't know that Jumma Chumma is originally an African song that Laxmikant Pyarelal composed specifically for Amitabh Bachchan & Sridevi's starrer Ram Ki Seeta Shyam Ki Geeta. Ramesh Sippy asked the music director to compose a grand and catchy song that suits the No.1 actor and the No.1 actress to be presented in the mahurat of the film. It is said that Amitabh & Sridevi even shot a portion of the song, but unfortunately the film got shelved. Luckily we have seen both the superstars dancing together to the song in their London concert.
Then the last chance was Mahesh Bhatt's Gumrah. Mahesh in one of his interviews denied that Sridevi ever asked him to change the hero of the film. He even said that he personally spoke to Sridevi and she clearly told him that she did not mind working with Sanjay Dutt. Gumrah was a wonderful film and all critics praised the on screen chemistry between Sridevi and Sanjay Dutt. Sajnay Dutt in another interview said that with Sridevi there was only Hi and Hello on the sets and no more communication. He said that even in the last chasing scene where he and Sridevi were holding hands and running when the director said stop Sri moved her hand away from him very fast. He said that she was probably thinking that he is still on drugs and that he does not blame her.
Sanjay Dutt is very fond of Sridevi. In one of his interviews again with Filmfare he put her together with his mom Nargis as the best actresses of India. He also chose her as the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the only Indian lady he chose when he was asked this. One of Sanjay Dutt's all time favorite Bollywood films is Sridevi's Chaalbaaz! So all this shows how much he is in awe of her.
Sridevi on her side was among the first who expressed her distress when Sanjay Dutt was arrested in the early 1990s she even joined with other actors to show her support for Sanajy Dutt. The below picture shows Sridevi standing beside Raveena Tandon and many others in support of her colleague.
Sridevi & Sanjay Dutt might never act together again, but their film together Gumrah is one beautiful film that has a repeated watching value for all the fans. Both gave their best and the film is still remembered after so many years.
Below you can watch another video explaining about the Jumma Chumma & Tamma Tamma controversy