I woke up this Monday morning at 6.30 AM hoping to start this week on a positive note while keeping a note of immediate action items for the day. It was not to be though, as soon as I picked my phone, it flashed the news of demise of the very bright young movie star, Sushant Singh Rajput who took his own life in his Mumbai home.
When he first hit the big screen after his celebrated TV daily soap, I was extremely happy to see him making his way into this extremely competitive cinema world, entirely through his hard work and passion. I always have had a soft corner for creative people who display courage to abandon a secure comfortable career to pursue their passion. Sushant is a member of that species. Add to it, he was an engineer like many of us.
I am writing this piece not because he was my favorite actor which he was not, or to express my grieving, which I am, but because it has affected me personally in many ways. I always liked his work but in did not pay much attention to him as an actor or person, beyond my constant appreciation for the little knowledge of his background and struggle. Now, when he is no more, I learnt so much more about him which I didn’t know earlier. What I know about him now, has shook me to the core.
My wife today read for me his “50 things to do” list which he shared through his social media. We watched some of his interviews and testimonials from his close friends revealing so much about him as a person, his mind, his passion and his dreams. I could immediately relate to some of his most fundamental dreams in my own little way. The term ‘fundamental dreams’, because there are some dreams you just want to achieve in the lifetime and be done with it, but then there are few which define oneself. I was fascinated to know his interest in learning modern physics for his spiritual quest, his striking keenness to understand cosmos, his passion to do something in educational field, his struggle to establish himself in a world where pace and momentum is much more important than an occasional pause. I think I know you Sushant, I understand you very much. I know why and what for Mr. Shekhar Kapoor termed you as an old soul. I know the restlessness in you to become ‘Sushant’, the extremely peaceful.
Now when he had chosen to observe his physical mortality in order to express his immortal ideals and thoughts, we all need to do a serious introspection as professionals, as friends, as colleagues and as human. The question we have to ask ourselves is – if we are creating enough space for expressions, if we are encouraging diversity in terms of identities and thoughts, if we have appetite to take a pause to listen, can we win over our judgmental self, how equipped are our systems to evaluate and appraise with compassion for a greater good.
Rest in peace Sushant!