By Ramis Shah
Sushant Singh Rajput, an outsider for the Bollywood film industry from Patna came in limelight back in 2008, first as supporting roles on small screen and from supporting roles he made his breakthrough as a lead. With his applaudable acting and calming personality, he was loved by all and soon became a TV sensation. I remember watching one of his dramas in which he was playing a character that was similar to who he was in real life, a soothing and a quiet personality.
His dream of becoming an actor was now coming true. After directing Rock On, Abhishek Kapoor casted Sushant in his film based on Chetan Bhagat’s short story “Kai Po Che” (Three Mistakes of Life). His character Ishaan Bhatt an upcoming cricketer who couldn’t represent his state due to politics in the cricket world but became a successful cricket coach. This character again reflected Sushant’s real life as he was portrayed as a great friend in the film, in reality too he was said to be having a very few friends who considered Sushant as their family and regard him as a great friend. The way he acted in the film and his character became an eye catcher for me as a film student. Although Kai Po Che wasn’t that successful at commercial level but it left its huge impact on some audience and I was one of them.
His Cameo as Sarfaraz in Rajkumar Hirani’s film ‘’PK’’ got attention in all over the world, that famous dialogue “Sarfaraz dhoka nahi dega’’ still famous in Pakistan as people referred this dialogue to Sarfraz Ahmed a player in Pakistan’s Cricket Team who later became the captain. What I liked in him as an actor was the fact how he always picked those unconventional roles. In 2015, in Dibakar Banerjee’s mystery thriller he portrayed the role of Detective Byomkesh Bakshi who was a real-life detective in 1940’s in Calcutta. The film was appreciated by critics but again it couldn’t get the commercial success or his work in Abhishek Choubey’s Sonchiriya in the role of dacoit, Sushant couldn’t make it to the front rows in the Industry.
My favorite character he played was the role of former Indian Cricket team’s Captain/Wicketkeeper Mahindra Singh Dhoni. As a cricket analyst and a filmmaker, I found this character motivating, fascinating and at the same time very challenging. The way he portrayed Dhoni with his body language, his gestures, his sarcasm, it was outstanding. That performance finally got him International Recognition as actor, and then one after another he gave out his best performances. He finally seemed to get where he wanted to be but still after everything he lost the match on 14th June.
Manoj Bajpayee in an interview said that during the shooting spell of “Sonchiriya”, Sushant was fond of studying Quantum Physics and Galaxy. Bajpayee said how admirable his craft was and how he respected his coworkers. By nature, Sushant was an introvert yet had an inner child who always got excited whenever he saw his idols such as Shekhar Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Bajpayee, Irfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor. Sadly, his work wasn’t as appreciated and recognized as it deserved to be. He was a hard worker, a person who gave more than 100% to his work in my eyes.
Sushant was suffering from clinical depression and he still managed to look joyful, full of energy and seemed all happy but in real he wasn’t and his demise reminds me of Rushaan’s Incident. Rushaan was my junior in university her nature was similar to Sushant’s, a happy person with a joyful nature and a talented artist. I always saw humility in her eyes and today when I go through Sushant’s life and character it reminds me of her as we lost her the same way we lost Sushant.
With a breaking heart I feel how we need to change our attitudes towards people, we need to be more empathic. Depression is real. This can be found in every field whether in sports or film artists or in student’s life. Many off the cricketers took retirement due to clinical depression Glenn Maxwell an Australian Cricketer in an example who recently took the break from cricket.
As humans I think we need to be sorry for leaving people like Sushant all alone to fight this painful battle of depression. But I promise I’ll help each & every person in my life who’s suffering from these issues and will try my best to give them immense support. Surely Sushant’s name will always be remembered in the list of Heath Ledger & Robin Williams.
This 2020 is hitting us hard but I hope this will come to an end.