It was in 2010 while i was preparing to start my career in journalism that my mother introduced me to Sushant Singh Rajput saying that this boy is really good in TV sop Pavitra Rishta. I found him likeable and started watching the show but couldn’t survive beyond few episodes of the drama. However, SSR stayed in my mind.
When i saw his first film on laptop, as a movie-buff i repented why didn’t i go to cinema hall to watch #KaiPoChe. He was earnest and gave a solid performance in his first film. Thereafter i made sure that i watch all his films in theatre. In #ShuddhDesiRomance, he proved to be a charmer with a loveable performance. One of my favourites is his #DetectiveByomkeshBakshy. His act in MS Dhoni biopic needs no introduction. I missed watching #Raabta & #Kedarnath in theatre. The day i got my Zee5 subscription, the first thing i did was catch up Kedarnath where once again he proved that he was here for a longer run.
Last year with my friends i watched #Chhichhore and with a solid writing/direction by Nitesh Tiwari it proved to be a milestone in his career, one of the biggest sleeper hit, both in terms of collections and ROI. I even went on to keep #Khairiyat song as my callertune from the film. Only if somebody had sought his Khairiyat we wouldn’t be mourning this huge loss. When i went to watch #Sonchiriya and found that the print we were watching in the multiplex was dubbed from original native language, i tweeted to SSR and he responded too saying that he will look into it. Later i watched his amazing act in Sonchiriya on Zee5 and was spellbound to see a hero playing dacoit in this age and time.
He was an affable Bollywood star, someone who was like you and me, making big on his own in an industry which promotes nepotism and camps. He talked about Science and Quantum Physics as much as he loved sharing his thoughts about Lord Shiva. I used to share his tweets with my brother Ayush Mishra & friend Kishor Dwivedi and used to be surprised that finally after SRK we have an actor in industry who is educated and can talk about anything under the sun. I also liked watching his interviews especially his last one with Film Companion.
From being a fourth row dancer in #Dhoom2 title song to becoming one of lead actor in Bollywood, he proved that there’s no limit to achievements if you work hard.
I kept tracking his career through various news articles and Twitter. A huge project #Paani which was to be directed by Shekhar Kapur with SSR in lead was shelved by YRF. His three film contract was shelved by YRF. Dharma Productions first delayed and then directly released #Drive on Netflix which took his career to a backseat after successful Chhichhore. He was not part of any camp and blind articles about his erratic behaviour and GFs kept coming. But this didn’t deter him from donating money for floods in Kerala/Nagaland and funding NASA visit of school students.
I am not an expert on mental health but i am yet to come to terms with the fact that an engineering student who had achieved all India rank in entrance exam and who adored Science & Shiva with equal élan could die of suicide because he was suffering from depression.
You must have come across video of his home which he had bought few months ago wherein he lovingly talks about telescope placed in a special corner besides other things. A man who talked about dreams, aspirations and had such an infectious smile could just go like this in a flash, it’s unbelievable.
I will miss him. I was so looking forward to see what roles he does next considering he was so well-read but now i will not have anything to look forward to.
Bollywood stars have a different way of making place in your life. For example you may like a Sanjay Dutt or a Salman Khan on screen but may not like them in real life based on their personal life. But self-made stars like SRK or SSR bridge that gap.
SSR’s loss seems personal and i think many of us who watched him, liked him will take a long time to overcome this. No age is the age to go!
May you find peace wherever you are SSR!