Sunil Dutt Rejected His First Film Because Of His Promise To His Mom
For any aspriing actor, struggling in the obscuirty, a debut role holds significant weight. After all, it can propel the actor's career into the very stardom that they had been working and dreaming of. But you would be surprised to know that the legendary Bollywood icon Sunil Dutt turned down his first role.
He turned it down because of a promise he made to his mother, Kulwanti Devi Dutt. It is not a well-known fact. See what led up to this monumental act of self-sacrifice.
Sunil Dutt appeared on Farooq Shaikh's celebrity discussion show, Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hain, with legendary actor Dilip Kumar, his wife, Saira Banu, and iconic actress Waheeda Rehman once. Sunil Dutt revealed something fascinating about the making of his debut film, Railway Platform, over the course of the show. While working as a radio jockey for Radio Ceylon, Sunil Dutt once had the opportunity to interview Dilip Kumar, who was on the set of his film Shikast (1953) at the time. While on site, Ramesh Saigal, the film's director, was impressed enough with his potential to have requested him to take part in a screen test wearing a costume once worn by Shikast's star Dilip Kumar. He had spoken the same, recalling the same:
"Saigal saab asked ‘Tum khud kyun nahi actor ban jaate?’ Toh maine kaha agar mujhe hero ka role milega toh main tayyar hun. I was in my third year at the time.”
During the dialogue that followed, Sunil Dutt had stated how proud he felt when he donned the costume that had once belonged to Dilip Kumar. He had said that after his audition for Ramesh Saigal he had left the studio and gone directly back to his house since he was convinced that he had performed poorly. But to his surprise, Ramesh Saigal had been impressed by his audition and had given him his first film for Rs. 300, which he accepted. In order to honor his commitment to his mother, Sunil Dutt had rebuffed it. On the subject, he'd revealed: "Maine kaha, nahi Saigal saab, agar aap bura na maane, mujhe BA toh pass karna hai kuch bhi ho jaaye. Kyunki main apni maa ko vaada karke aaya hun ki main padhne jaa raha hun aur BA pass karke aaunga. He (Ramesh Saigal) just got up and he embraced me.”
Ramesh Saigal was taken aback by Sunil Dutt's response, and he recalled what the latter had said to him. The director had told him something, and the former had told him about it. In addition to lavishing admiration on Sunil Dutt, Ajay made a commitment to the actor that he would be patiently waiting for him to finish college so that they could collaborate on a project together. Sunil Dutt, recalling the heartfelt chat he had with the filmmaker, said: "Yaar tune maa ko vada kia hai, yahan log taraste hain hero banne ke liye aur tu apni maa ke vaade ke liye kehta hai ki main BA pass karke hi actor banunga. Kehte chalo tere liye main wait karunga."
For those who don't know, after completing his BA, Sunil Dutt began working on his debut film, Railway Platform, directed by Ramesh Saigal, who had kept his word and waited for the radio DJ who had always dreamed of becoming an actor, to start shooting the film.