Sanjay Dutt
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Trishala Dutt: I had to be strong..

Sanjay Dutt

By HT

New Delhi, June 21 -- Actor Sanjay Dutt's daughter Trishala Dutt is not the quintessential star kid. She has pretty much stayed away from the limelight, and has never piggybacked on the family name because then "how would I be different from anyone else?"

She has built her brand of hair extensions in New York, and is already planning the launch of another beauty product. In a chat with us on Father's Day, the 26-year-old - Dutt's daughter from his first wife Richa Sharma - tells us how she is dealing with her father's jail term, how the situation has strengthened her, and how she never wanted to be just another star kid on the block. Excerpts.

Dad will be back with a bang, as usual

I sent him (Sanjay Dutt) a Father's Day message already, but for his fans I can 100% say that they must watch out when he comes back. Because he's going to come back with a bang as usual. He's someone you can't break, and I'm sure his fans will be completely blown away once he's back. Even I'm excited, I can't wait to see what he's going to do.

People expected me to cry when dad went to jail

We write letters to each other all the time, so that's how we keep in touch. When he went to jail and I knew I wasn't going to hear regularly from him for the next 2-3 years, that's when I knew okay, it's time to grow up. Yes, I was sad, but I had to be strong for my family and myself. I'm not a child anymore and I think some people forget that and expected me to cry publicly because everyone has seen me in my baby stages while I was growing up in Bollywood ... but that's not who I am anymore. Tough situations really strengthen you as a person.

Didn't want to be just another star kid

I never wanted to be like other "star children" and piggyback on the family name. If I did, how would I be different from anyone else? I really respect and appreciate actors/actresses who worked their butt off from ground zero and made it on their own without the help from anyone except their own will and determination. That's what you call a true "Boss". I'm currently doing that and it feels awesome to build something on your own. Anyone who has worked hard for what they have today should know the feeling I'm talking about. There are so many challenges out there. I've faced many, and I've faced rejection as well. Rejection is what made me work harder, it did not weaken me. Anytime I see a hurdle coming my way I just shrug it off and welcome the challenge with open arms.

No Bollywood dreams, anymore

The reason why I wanted to do films was because I wanted to be close to my father, it's as simple as that. He obviously did not care about that and today, I thank him. As a woman in Bollywood, I've been seeing it for myself these past five-six years - you don't last. It's a very male dominated industry and I'm not the type of person to only work for 10 years. Out of which for four years I will be building my niche, work for five-six more years, then get married, have children, after which career takes a backseat because someone new, young, and fresh is ready to take over. I'm not up for that life. I believe in building a solid empire with my name on it.

Dad told me, 'Don't be stupid like I was'

I'm still learning what the definition of "friend" means. I recently had an incident where I expected my close friends to be there for me when I really needed them, and they were not. I felt like calling up my father when this happened because in one of his letters, he told me very clearly, "don't do everything for your friends, never let someone use you, don't be stupid like I was". His words were haunting me that day when I needed my friends to be there for me, and when they were not. I felt so stupid. I think that was the first time where I felt very lonely and missed my father very, very much. He would have been the perfect person to tell me what had happened and have given me great advice on how to handle that situation. But anyway, I got a good life lesson out of that.