Tribute to Sushant: One year of losing and missing him
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon on June 14, last year, when people were casually scrolling through their smartphones. Suddenly, it stopped. Why? Around 2:30-3pm, a notification blinked on their devices, which read, "Sushant Singh Rajput dies by suicide. Was suffering from depression," leaving all shell-shocked. It's exactly a year now today, but without his contagious smile, his intelligent talk and enormous emotional quotient.
Today, we will talk about how he celebrated his life
Today, in our tribute, we will not talk about his death, but we will celebrate the way he lived his life. Coming from a middle class family, he had indeed come a long way to become one of the superstars in the country. And even then, he had a love-hate relationship with money, fame, glamor and glitz. He followed his heart throughout his journey.
'I became an actor because I had a problem'
In all his interviews, he repeated one thing with emphasis, "I became an actor because I had a problem. I was an introvert." Sushant wanted to change this weakness into his strength, and chose to hide "behind all these fascinating characters," to gain his confidence. So now you know why you cried, when he cried on the screen, and laughed along with him.
He didn't mind if his characters died in the films
That's how he became Ishaan Bhatt, MS Dhoni, Mansoor Khan, Lakhan Singh/Lakhna, Anni and even Detective Byomkesh Bakshy. He let many of his characters, protagonists, embrace death, because he always felt that death is the only reality and constant in our lives. Sushant had once said how "causation" and "correlation" might be two different things, and "as a society, we don't understand nuances."
Was always candid, eager to reveal tidbits about his life
Now, if this is not breakthrough thinking, what is? While delivering a talk at AVENUES 2016 event, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay, Sushant took everyone by surprise with his candid revelations. That broke his superstar aura, while his words still retained that power. During that speech, he took a break, to write, "Money + Recognition= Happiness = Success," on a white board. And then, he spoke.
When he realized money isn't the only measurement of success
He said that these are "the biggest lie and the only truth about success that I was told about." He found out later why it was "the biggest lie." Sushant became popular to a point "that money stopped being a differentiator," but "something unusual happened." He realized that money isn't the only measurement of success; it's the excitement of doing something you're passionate about.
'Money plus Recognition plus Excitement= true meaning of success'
"And for the first time, I understood the true meaning of success, which was not Money plus Recognition, but it was Now plus Excitement. This realization happened in 2011 and it has been five years," he said, and this learning remained with him all through.
He just didn't take, he gave a lot back
Sushant was a learner, a certified one at that. Whatever he did, be it indulging in commando-training activities with CRPF jawans in Manipur, making well-round rotis for them to becoming the first Bollywood actor to train at NASA, he always wanted to be inspired through each experience. He also wanted to give back, genuinely, not by Being Human, but as a human being.
Sushant wasn't just an actor; he was a giver, philosopher
Sushant launched a program for helping kids inculcate emotional quotient, and teamed up with NITI Aayog to help promote women entrepreneurship. And he didn't do it for the cameras. Hence it hurts all the more, because he wasn't just an actor, he was a giver, philosopher, and a traveler, who always was with you, despite being so enigmatic. We miss you so much, Sushant!