The Strange Case of Sushant Singh Rajput and us, the people

Note: This is a series of articles by one of our readers Mr Sayee Ganesh where he puts forward his thoughts and opinions on the shockingly early demise of Sushant Singh Rajput. These are his personal views and are in no way endorsed by Celluloid Tales. These thoughts don't intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual or community.

The Making of SSR...

Now, let's go back to the earlier years of his life in order to try and discern what went into the making (or unmaking) of this personality that we've come to identify with as the Sushanth Singh that we know of (Or may I just say "The making of Sushant" in typical Bollywood style :-)

Steve Jobs very famously said, "The only way you can excel in anything you do is to love what you do". As an example, nothing could've been as relevant and as interesting as Sushant's earlier years - He was from a typical lower-middle-class family from Bihar, very humble beginnings, lost his mother at a very young age, somewhere in his teens. He had his sisters to look after but despite all this, he was still excellent at school and in academics so much so that he topped in the olympiad in physics at a national level, secured an AIR of 7 in his entrance exam for engineering, and as if that was not enough, he even cleared as many as 11 engineering entrance exams - all quite seamlessly. This was how intelligent he was - I would even go the extent and say that if not for his movies, he could've easily landed a plush job in some coveted MNC and could have scaled even greater heights, something of the scale of Sundar Pichai maybe? Who knows? (Yes many of such tycoons globally include mechanical engineers as well)

This only goes to show the sheer talent and affinity that he could've had as a young lad for the subject, but all of this only until his 3rd year in college, when he suddenly quits all of it for what he says was his "True calling"! I can’t think of anyone as brilliant and as talented at things that most would spend years to even scrape through, and still excel at each of them only to throw it all one fine day, just for the sake of this "true calling". This can only mean that this newfound ebullience (namely acting) excited him so much more than what he was excellent at.

One need to only say that that same passion was unmistakably evident in both the selection of his scripts as well as his performances, right from his first movie "Kai Po Che!" till the latest one "Dil Bechara". In fact, speaking of talent, his last film itself is proof enough for it, which even though, thanks to COVID-19 it turned out to be just an OTT platform release, albeit with unprecedented openings for any movie (especially given that it was an online-only release). Add to this was the fact that it boasted of an IMDB rating of 9.8/10 !! Need I speak more? (I never imagined that a movie could get a rating as high as this and more so an Indian movie !)

Each of his films deserve a separate article in their own right, but I will, for the time being, talk about just one of them which definitely tops my favourite list (after Dil Bechara, of course).

Even though I found each of his movies to be so very diverse and unique in its own way, I have, at many times while watching MS Dhoni - The untold story, been struck with paranoia and disbelief, at his performance, especially during the match portions of it, leaving me to wonder many times as to whether it was really Sushant or MSD himself who was in the movie. So perfect and uncanny was his impression of the legend. It is one thing to convince the audience with emulating the person’s body language and mannerisms. But with his near-perfect mastery of the legend’s on-field heroics was phenomena (the helicopter shot was definitely one goosebumps moment).

Another unforgettable performance is definitely "Chicchore". Also this was very special to me. I could connect really well with the movie since I was a hostelite myself. But like I said earlier, if I begin to talk on his movies, I can go on and on making this a very tedious exercise for the reader.

One thing that is quite obvious about him - he was an extremely intelligent, talented and a gifted actor, very honest to his craft and also one who tasted success quite often than not. He was very financially sound too. Yet, the million-dollar question is “What could've possibly gone wrong with him? Was he really a very disturbed soul deep inside, something that nobody could ever possibly be aware of? Or is it the more obvious factor of an external pressure that caused him to take the drastic step or worse still, a case of culpable homicide?” If it is the latter, then there definitely is a very disturbing threat that looms large over the all the other up-and-coming talents in the industry, one that definitely cannot be left unresolved.

The Case

Now let's come to the case and also about the crucial role that the media has occupied in the turn of events, a very stark contrast to what we are generally accustomed to. The Indian media (read the pseudo "National" ist News channels) particularly is notorious for its ability to make headlines out of anything, right from who an actor is going out with currently to how cute his/her little daughter looks when she yawns (as if there are no other babies that can yawn!!). This time around too, it was no different except that in the process, it turned out to be very favourable and beneficial for the affected parties, (Sushant's family) in this case - thanks to Republic TV and the man synonymous with it - Mr Arnab Goswami. One can't really emphasize enough on the fact simply as, whether you like it or not, it looked like he and his Republic channel were actually bringing out more and more skeletons out on the case every day (and even as I write this, I can hear Mr AG screaming out his breaking news!) than even what the Mumbai police has not possibly discovered!

Also, I cannot miss something that made me erupt with joy and hope on seeing was when this man, Mr Subramaniyam Swami (for those that don't know, this man's contribution to the Indian economy and policy-making is much much more than anyone has ever done) one of my all-time favourites, turned his pistol slowly towards Bollywood, one industry that he rarely ventures into. It made me believe at that instant that there can be no other greater ammunition than Mr Swamy in order to expose Bollywood. This man, being a lawyer himself, has fought hundreds of cases in his career with a track record of 90-95 %, essentially winning almost all of them. One can only wish that he can settle the dust and finally ensure justice not just for Sushanth's family but also to the crores of other Indians who've reposed their trust in this very system.

So on a final note, I would just wind up saying that it is only too early to say anything now except for the fact that something has clearly happened, something that's yet to be discovered, as they say, "There can't be any smoke without fire". What is left to be found out - what caused the fire in the first place?

And now with the CBI taking over the case, let us all hope that these and many other questions are answered as the investigations proceed.

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