The fault IS in our STARS

It was another lockdown Sunday, typical, lazy and useless – not knowing where to start and what to do, cursing 2020 for being such an ominous year. Little did I know that one of the darkest news was on its way? 14th June, around mid-day in London, WhatsApp messages start popping, social media feeds starting pouring – “Sushant Singh Rajput is no more”!

The news read as “Sushant Singh Rajput took his own life”. Really? Within hours, different theories started spreading even faster than the spread of the deadly virus. Nepotism, Depression, Mental health, Bipolar Disorder, Failed career and many more. Nothing was spared – some spoke about past allegations and others on his daily habits, his relationships, family and so on.

It took me more than 2 months to write this and this is not the first time I have sat down to write about Sushant’ s untimely death. But every time I have sat down to write something, it has pained me immensely – as if injustice has happened to me.

To be honest, I haven’t been an ardent follower of ‘Pavitra Rishta’ (Sushant’s big TV hit which made him very popular) when it aired on the television, but I do know my close family members who did and learnt how quickly ‘Manav’ became a house hold name. I did watch few of the episodes with my sister, who happens to be a huge fan of him, STILL! After few years, he made it for himself into Bollywood among the reins of Khans and Kapoors. It was a remarkable journey for a small town boy from tele screens to big screen. We saw him evolve from the small screen to Bollywood with ‘Kai Po Che’ and he never looked back. In no time, he made us love him from ‘Manav’ to ‘Ishaan’ to ‘Raghu’ to ‘Mahi’ and so many more. There ‘would have’ been many more such characters but this story reached a deadly climax too soon.

Did I follow him while he was struggling and making his way to the peak? Maybe, not. Like the mass audience, I was busy celebrating mediocracy of Bollywood. I too was whistling and dancing my way when SRK stretched his arms, with his signature style, for his female co-star or Sallu-Bhai, with his bare shaved chest, knocked down all villains at one go. 

Then why does it pain so much now and why am I fighting for justice along with million other Indians all around the world?  

Sushant, you were one of us. One of my age group. One who risked things, took drastic career steps. Your family seems so like one of ours. Your journey from Bihar to Mumbai and mine from Kolkata to London might not be exactly the same but the ‘struggle-to-survive’, I bet, were quite similar and so is it for many more like me who could relate their struggles with yours. We battled, won few, failed more, laughed and cried with big-fishes only to be included and make it big one day. But, today, it seems that you not only travelled to a different world through your telescope but you also took away with you the ‘courage to dream’ for millions like me? You left us thinking whether dreaming big costs something like our ‘life’? You took every step as a challenge – making long leaps from engineering to dancing to TV to Bollywood to starting your own gaming company to learning AI to learning to code to flying plane to gazing at the stars for hours… to many more. You were an actor by profession but your love for astrophysics and quantum physics were rarely spoken about. Few say that you took your own life but we find it hard to believe that a person with so much of passion and a long list of aspirations could give up on life? One who already sailed through rough waters can commit suicide? Or are you saying we should never challenge the unchallenged?

Oh by the way, sorry but we live in a world where once you leave the stage, your co-workers won’t remember you beyond a RIP post. I know, I know “The Show Must Go On”!  

Should we keep dreaming big, Sushant? Can we swim with the big fishes?