''Being in jail on Diwali, or for that matter, occasions like the Independence Day, is not a joyous feeling. One has to make it happy but its not all that happy. The bad part is that you are locked up at 6 pm in the evening till the next day be it Diwali or Independence,''the actor told Karan Thapar in what is his first interview upon being released from the Yeravada jail in Pune on November 29 after the apex court granted him bail in a case relating to his illegal possession of arms in the 1993 serial blasts.
Talking about his days in jail, Sanjay Dutt said, ''I feel that jail is a reformatory centre. It is not a good place to be in for anyone. However, looking at the positive side, it is the only place where one can have a direct connection with God. For me, too the time I spent in jail enabled me to get closer to God. Infact, I even made my own 'mandir' in jail.'' Dutt said being an outdoor person, it was not an easy thing for him to be confined in jail.
''But I pulled it off just because of my efforts to establish a greater connection with God and keeping myself busy in work. It's very important for you to cut the thoughts and emotions that arise in your mind and just go along with the daily work, pray, be hopeful and have faith in the judiciary.
''Also, when you spend a lot of time in jail, you build up a bond with the guards and the other inmates which was not because of my being an actor. For example, I met a lot of caring people during my stay in jail. It made me feel good,'' the actor said.
Now that he is out on bail, Dutt said he is determined to put that phase behind him. Though he is only out on bail and the 'democles sword' of law still hangs over his head, Sanjay Dutt said he did not think about it much.
''I can't be happy about jail and really do not want to go back. But I feel one must look at it in a positive manner. I believe it is necessary to move ahead in life and carry on with your work and other daily activities. One should not brood too much about it,'' he said.
''I am out on bail and would like to make the best of my free time. I'd like to move ahead with my work in films and other social work. I feel I have a lot of good work to do; carry on the legacy of my mother and father. Infact, I am already a part of the cancer society my father had started. We get a lot of funds and equipment for cancer patients.
''Then, there is another group I am associated with called 'Support' which is working to support and bring back to the mainstream street children who are on drugs. I have always done good work, something that was inculcated in me by my parents. But now I have come out determined to do more,''Dutt said.
Dutt, who recently resumed his film work with the shooting for 'Easy Monthly Installment' (EMI) produced by actor Suneil Shetty, said it was great to be back before the arclights.
''It was the happiest day of my life when I started shooting for the new film a few days ago. Just being back before the arclights means a lot to me. It was great to be back,'' the actor said.
On whether the two stints in jail since last year had changed him as a person, Sanjay Dutt said, ''there has been a lot of change from the Sanjay Dutt of last year and the one you see now. At that time I was very shattered and did not know what was going to happen.
Perhaps, spending a lot of time in jail and taking a close ''look at my problems, I realised that they were nothing compared to ones faced by people I wanted to help.'' ''I feel that a stay in jail either makes you or breaks you. In my case, it been a sad but a beneficial experience.''