His death made him even bigger, even more, loved and missed and more remembered. The phenomenal actor and human being that he was, Sushant’s death has given a ghastly jerk to almost everybody in Bollywood, to those in love with Bollywood and most certainly to his family and friends outside the cinema world. Here is a remembrance of the young, flamboyant, dashing actor- Sushant Singh Rajput… penned by TLJ Chief Consulting Editor Dr. Neha Miglani.
Be kind. For everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle” – Sushant Singh Rajput #SelfMusing
This is one of the quotes on the SelfMusing portal- the website dedicated to Sushant, created by his work team and launched three days after his death. The website compiles the reflections he penned down and the dreams he had. The succinct description on the website reads “Sushant Singh Rajput was an Indian actor, dancer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. #SelfMusing was his passion…We are in the process of documenting all the positive energies he has left behind in this world. This space will ensure that his memory is #AlwaysAlive.”
Sushant’s hobbies most certainly indicate that he wasn’t just an ordinary man or just another actor. There was something special about Sushant that connected him to the audience and to the people whom he met. Now weeks after his death, remembering Sushant for all his virtues is a possible way to deal with the loss, for his fans and followers. Perhaps.
On June 14, 2020, Sushant was found hanging from the ceiling of his Bandra house. A young, successful, promising, compassionate, and intellectual man- “an untimely climax” is what spontaneously comes to one’s mind. Every single day, since that calamitous Sunday, there have been ceaseless debates and speculations in Bollywood circles and among his fans on social media.
For one, the wave of ‘fond remembrance’ of Sushant is unprecedented. Several photographs and videos surfaced post his demise on Instagram and other social media about Sushant’s interests in the cosmic world, about him excelling in studies and securing top position in the grueling All-India Engineering Entrance Exam. The video of Sushant’s dog Fudge was a complete emotional roller-coaster for many fans. There were other posts about him being a generous donor and a warm, intellectual friend as everyone (including leading actors, filmmakers) paid tribute to him on social media. Those close to him vouch that he always showed great compassion and character to his fans, to his friends around and to people around in general! An incident narrated by an artist Akshata at the end of this piece is a case in point.
The shift from television (he started his career with Pavitra Rishta- a Zee TV serial which ran between 2009-2014 on air) to movies was not easy. He concurred this to many of his friends. He was also quoted saying, by some of his friends, that he wanted to do ‘big Bollywood movie’ next. His ambitions were backed by the ‘lion-like’ character he had to face problems. He was self-made and liked doing things by himself- different things all the time!
Even as Hindi Film Industry lost several stars in the recent past, including great actors Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor, Sushant’s demise and the “disbelief” element comes close to the death of veteran actress Sridevi, whose demise left everyone with a similar “disbelief” all across the country. Although over-speculated by the media, her death continued to be a mystery for a long time and the actual sequence of events remained unraveled. Dealing with the loss of a young son, who was born after four daughters, was tough for his father, Mr. KK Singh concurred during his interviews. Eventually, 13 days after his death, Sushant’s family announced a foundation in his name. A note issued his family read that ‘for the world, he was Sushant Singh Rajput but for them all he was simply Gulshan (his nickname)’. “He was free-spirited, talkative, and extremely bright. He was curious about just everything. He dreamed about restraints and chased those dreams with the heart of a lion. He smiled generously. He was the pride and inspiration of the family” – reads the note. The Sushant Singh Rajput Foundation shall provide “support to young talents in the areas close to his heart- cinema, science, and sports”. The note also mentioned what the family would like to do with his ancestral house in Patna, Bihar. “His childhood home in Rajiv Nagar, Patna will be turned in a memorial. We will put his personal memorabilia and belongings there that include thousands of books, his telescope, flight-simulator etc, and for his fans and admirers.”
Sushant was a former engineering student and was very fond of astronomy and was amazed by the cosmic phenomena. “His telescope was his most prized possession, through which he fondly gazed at the stars,” reads the statement by his family. The note mentions about Sushant’s “endless rants about science” and how his laughs will be missed by the family terribly.
Sushant’s death has shaken up many to reality. The loss, however, remains unfilled, especially for his family back in Bihar. Sushant’s role as Masoor Khar in the movie Kedarnath had brought the character alive and had left the audience spellbound. What he played on screen, in character and qualities, is what he was in real life. A shiva devotee, a compassionate human, a loving, caring person. Whatever may happen to the countless speculations and theories on his demise- his life and personality will be remembered by his fans and all Hindi movie lovers forever!
FACTS ON SUSHANT’S LIFE
Days before Sushant passed away, his first television serial, which was a superhit, Pavitra Rishta completed 11 years. Filmmaker Ekta Kapoor had shared on her social media handle that their production house had to ‘convince the TV channel to have Sushant as the lead in that serial’ and ‘that his smile would win a million hearts’.
He admitted at a media conclave that he was in Class 4 when he first fell in love- with his class teacher of course! And since the exams were around the corner, he had to focus on them.
Sushant was a shy personality and did not give too many interviews. In an interview, he admitted, “If I give an interview I will be really honest about what I say and this is why I do not give too many interviews,” said Sushant in an interview.
Kai Po Chi in 2013 (Sushant’s first film) was the seventh film offered to Sushant. He had rejected six films before he finally accepted this film by Mukesh Chabbra. He was about to go to UCLA to learn film making after leaving television.
In an interview, Sushant revealed that “his mother” was the inspiration and the person behind his success. He said “Although she is not with me anymore, she is the person behind my success.”
Sushant was very close to his older sisters. He had four sisters and was said to be particularly closer to his eldest sister, whom he reportedly confided in when he dropped engineering to become an actor.
In Sushant’s memory, his last film Dil Bechara will be available for all subscribers and non-subscribers to view on Disney Hotstar. The film is slated for release on July 24, 2020.
#SelfMusing- Reflections from Sushant’s diary “The way you learn is what you learn” “One thing which we are is the function of time” “The way you perceive is the way that changes the perception!”
Born on: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Patna, Bihar
Nickname: Gulshan Filmy
Sushant was 16 years old when his mother passed away. The last post he shared on his IG account on June 3, 2020, was also a poem for his mother. This was accompanied by a collage of him and his mother. Here are some of the lines he penned for his mother.
“Blurred past evaporating from teardrops. Unending dreams carving an arc of smile. And a fleeting life, negotiating between the two…. (sic).”
“As long as you were, I was. Now just in my memories, I come alive. Like that shadow But just flickers. Time doesn’t move here. It’s beautiful mother. It’s forever… (sic).”
“Remember? You had promised to be with me forever and I also promised that I will always smile if anything happens. It seems that we were both wrong, mother!!!!!”
ENCOUNTER OF A FAN
Here is a story shared by an artist Akshata Zambre with TLJ. Her experience of meeting Sushant Singh Rajput when she least expected it! “I remember the first day of Pavitra Rishta (a popular television show) when I saw Sushant Singh Rajput and since then I’m his admirer. He was the only person from industry (the film industry) whom I used to admire and that too for the kind of human that he was. Being an artist I started sketching and painting him, only wishing for a day when I’d personally get to handover those to him and that did happen in 2019. I was in Mumbai for an exhibition and thought of gifting the painting as it was his birthday week. I dropped the painting at the reception of his building but his bodyguard asked me to wait for a few minutes and went upstairs. And surprisingly, he asked me to come upstairs. And there was Sushant sitting in his chair listening to a music piece and reading a book. He was so warm and kind that it didn’t even feel like I was talking to a celebrity. We ended up having an hour-long conversation! He was so humble and I was overjoyed to have got that time from him. In my opinion, there are very few people like Sushant in this entire world who just spread smiles wherever they go. He will rule our hearts forever!” – Akshata Zamabre, Artist