By Jyothi Venkatesh
I haven’t recovered at all from the shock wave of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide, exactly today, exactly a year ago. Worse, to this day I have no idea what made the young and bright boy take his own life when he probably had the whole world in his pocket after appearing in a series of ten films over a period of seven Years since he made his debut with the movie Kai Po Che in 2013.
The curious case of the death of Sushant Singh Rajput is still a mystery to be solved as the case is under investigation. The 34-year-old actor was found hanging in his bandra pad in Mumbai exactly one year ago, on June 14, 2020. Three top-notch agencies – the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) are still investigating the matter.
The brilliant fellow would have moved slowly and steadily if he had fought his personal demons with more patience, because 34 is just not the age to die. The sushant I knew was very shy, inhibited, and thoroughly introverted. But then from a young age the boy was used to getting what he wanted.
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At the age of just 22, Sushant Singh made his acting debut on the TV show “Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil”. His role in ‘Pavitra Rishta’ as Manav Deshmukh proved to be a breakthrough, overnight making him the heartbreaker of every single girl in the country and also, for the first time, he actually fell in love with his co-star Ankita Lokhand.
I remember Sushant was on the show with choreographer Champa. Sushant and Ankita were madly in love at the time and their chemistry made it clear that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. On the show, Sushant Singh Rajput even admitted that he had finally gathered the courage to propose marriage to his then girlfriend Anita Lokhande by getting on his knees. Priyanka Chopra (guest appearance), Remo D’souza, Malaika Arora and Madhuri Dixit, who were sitting in the judge’s chair, were delighted and asked Ankita to respond to his suggestion.
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The whole world learned that Sushant Singh Rajput’s nickname was actually Gugu when Ankita Lokhande couldn’t stop blushing and replied with an ‘I love you Gugu’. Sushant hid his face when he heard Ankita call him “Gugu” on national television. Malaika asked Ankita to answer him and she said that he understood the meaning of “I love you”. Ankita agreed and they hug each other after admitting their love.
In fact, it wouldn’t be out of place if I said that after Shah Rukh Khan it was Sushant Singh Rajput who transitioned effortlessly from the small screen to the large one. Like Shah Rukh Khan, college dropout Sushant Singh Rajput was an outsider in the film industry. When Shah Rukh Khan came from Delhi, Sushant set off from Bihar for the tinsel city. Even as he was enjoying his life with his new success, Sushant Singh Rajput was brought in for the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa which changed his résumé and since then there has been no turning back for SSR as he was affectionately known as.
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Often times, Sushant confided to his friends that he had enjoyed his time with the Ekjute theater company founded by Raj Babbar’s wife, Nadira Babbar, as a struggling new actor who had come from Bihar in his twenties. Even after trying fame, Sushant never forgot to stroll to the Prithvi Café and mingle with his old theater friends over several cups of Irish coffee
The best thing about Sushant was the fact that he was a real gentleman and chivalrous to the core. However you tried to provoke him, he wouldn’t say a word to anyone about his private affairs of the heart (and that included once Ankita Lokhande and later Riya Chakraborty). Sushant also didn’t say a word against his then girlfriend Ankita Lokhande or Kriti Sanon, whom he allegedly fell in love with during the outdoor program of his film Raabta, in which she starred. When we finally had the feeling that he had actually found his true soul mate in Rhea Chakraborty, unfortunately fate wanted it differently and he was no longer among us.
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Although he had kept the news top secret and not many know that the 34-year-old actor suffered from clinical depression and Rhea and that he regularly visited the psychiatrist for several months of treatment for the same since they had started themselves hold true. Sushant reportedly lost seven films, not one or two, six months before his death. Many believe that the prevailing nepotism in the industry is responsible for this, especially since it has been banned by some manufacturers who have a lot of influence in the industry.
After Chichchore made a big click, Sushant found himself in a happy zone, but unfortunately his producer Karan Johar decided to take the Sushant Singh-Jacqueline Fernandez-Starer Drive, directed by Tarun Mansukhani, on the OTT platform Netflix instead To release cinemas for whatever reason he thought appropriate. Sushant was dejected. Previously, Sushant had much of his hopes pinned on the success of his film Sonchiriya, but it turned out that it was a damp squib at the box office who broke Sushant’s morals.
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Though Sushant made headlines for buying land on the other side of the moon, in a region called Mare Moscoviense, or the Moscovy Sea, the final straw when his film Dil Bechara was engulfed in controversy was when the casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who directed the film, was targeted for the #MeToo campaign and it took him a while to get away with a clean slip of paper.
When Mukesh Chhabra decided to sell the film to an OTT platform after struggling to find a buyer for the film despite waiting over a year, Sushant was appalled but could do nothing to get Mukesh to change his mind because he had invested a hell of a lot in the movie Del Bechara. Finally, Sushant Singh Rajput was very upset when his ambitious film Chanda Mama Door Ke by Sanjay Puran Singh, in which he was supposed to play an astronaut, was discontinued.
We miss you dear Gugu! I just wish you hadn’t changed your phone number after promising me to contact us regularly, but I doubted the success had suddenly swollen him so much that he broke away from all friends and also kept a social distance from Covid could had hit us all.