As he tried his not-so-nimble fingers at weaving bamboo chairs, a prison official recorded hours of manual labour put in by Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt -- during his 37-day second stint at Yerawada jail -- which earned him wages totalling Rs 38.25.
The amount, duly handed over to the convict set free on bail, also signified the dignity of labour as a tenet of Gandhi's philosophy that Munna Bhai professed on celluloid as an actor.
The category of 'unskilled worker' to which he belonged as an inmate in the sprawling prison, which houses around 3,000 convicts, could at best be described as ironic for the actor enjoying top billing in Bollywood, with an estimated Rs 200 crore in film business riding on his shoulders.
A senior prison official told PTI that Dutt carried on with his manual work of cane-weaving separately in Barrack No 3, as his high-profile convict status did not allow him to mix up with other inmates doing their shifts.
The actor, convicted under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and sentenced to six years' rigorous imprisonment by a TADA court, performed pooja regularly in his prison cell in the mornings, which explained the tilak seen on his forehead when he came out of the jail gates today and boarded a chartered flight to Mumbai, minutes later.