Popular star Sushant Singh Rajput passed away at his Bandra, Mumbai residence on Sunday, June 14, 2020, reducing the entire film community and in fact the entire nation into deep shock. Sushant was just 34 and it was inconceivable to all his friends, admirers, and fans as to why a young and successful star would suddenly take his life.
Speculation followed, which in my view is not just unfortunate, but unwarranted and disrespectful to his family and friends. Since Sushant took the extreme step and nothing can be more extreme, I feel the least one can do is to respect his privacy, especially since one does not know his pressure or problems (or anyone’s for that matter). In the circumstances, speculation would be unnecessary and certainly avoidable.
In his brief career, Sushant Singh Rajput gave us many moments of joy. Let us pay a tribute to him by remembering these moments of happiness and remember him and his terrific smile.
Before Sushant entered the Hindi film industry in 2013 with Kai Po Che, he was an extremely popular TV star. Two dance reality shows Jhalak Dikhla Jaa and Zara Nachke Dikha had showcased his dancing talents, which he had learned from none other than Shiamak Davar. His acting prowess had already been seen in Star Plus’ Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil and in Zee TV’s Pavitra Rishta, where he played Manav the mechanic. Both these serials were by Balaji Telefilms, and Ekta Kapoor had once again given a future star to the film industry.
Sushant Singh Rajput in just 7 years in Bollywood has put in several varied and interesting performances in different genres such as romantic comedy (Shuddh Desi Romance), thriller (Detective Byomkesh Bakshi), drama (Sonchiriya), friendship drama (Kai Po Che), Biopic (M.S. Dhoni: The untold story) and Emotion (Chichhore). I will mention in detail just three of these and some Sushant trivia.
Kai Po Che was based on Chetan Bhagat’s The three mistakes of my life. Sushant drew accolades for his role of Ishaan in the critically acclaimed movie which starred Amit Sadh and Rajkumar Rao as well as his two friends. Sushant took four months of cricket training for this role. It helped him get the role of Dhoni as well later in his career since Dhoni himself saw Kai Po Che on a flight and recommended the name of Sushant for his biopic.
Sushant also got a lot of praise for his role in Dhoni. The movie was realistic, possibly because director Neeraj Pandey, while he liked cricket was not a fan of Dhoni, preferring Tendulkar and AB De Villiers. Sushant put in a lot of hard work for the movie and got the ultimate compliment from Dhoni himself, who when he saw the helicopter shot said, that he had totally photocopied it and was now ready for Ranji Trophy selection. The movie’s cricket consultant was Kiran More who spent many months with Sushant and once at BKC Bandra when Sachin Tendulkar saw Sushant, he asked More who the boy was and was batting well. When More told him it was a filmstar playing Dhoni’s role in a movie, Sachin’s reply was epic, “he can play proper professional cricket if he wants to. He seems that good”.
Finally, Chichhore. Sadly, Sushant Singh Rajput plays the father of a teenager who attempts to take his life and how Sushant helps his son through his trauma and takes him through a flashback to his own college life. One of Sushant’s dialogues were, “Hum haar jeet, success failure mein itna ulajh gaye hain, ki zindagi jeena bhool gaye hain, Zindagi mein agar kuch sabse zyada important hai toh woh hai khud zindagi”.
Sadly, while Sushant through his role in Chichhore, must have motivated so many, he could not practice the same philosophy and decided to move on. We will always remember him and his trademark smile.
Rest in peace, Sushant Singh Rajput.