“Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.” – Anne Frank
Recently, the trailer of Sushant Singh Rajput’s last movie Dil Bechara released, and with that the finality of what happened hit home for many, including me. For many like me the news of his death by suicide had been difficult to digest and people are finding it difficult to make peace with the fact.
The most common sentiment that has echoed across all spheres is that his death felt extremely personal. The reason for this being we all saw a reflection of ourselves in him. A shy, ordinary, underdog who dared to dream big, the only difference being that he had the conviction to take a leap of faith, which most of us lack. In his own words, “we” were just “him”, away from glory.
Some people like me weren’t even ardent fans of his on-screen personality, but still were a fan of his off-screen one. If you scroll through his Instagram account you will discover the sheer brilliance of his mind. His words oozed out wisdom, way beyond his years, and were a reflection of his chaotic mind, hard to decipher, but always loaded with precious life lessons.
His interests were quantum physics, cosmos, astronomy and he would painstakingly take pictures of planets and interstellar bodies to share with his followers. It seemed that he was enthusiastic about sharing the experience with his fans as if it seemed almost selfish to him to restrict the experience to his privileged self.
There were many instances of his empathetic nature that came to light, unfortunately and predictably after his death. During the Kerala floods he decided to make a donation of ₹1 crore on an impulse just because one of his followers expressed the desire of doing so but not being in a position to do it.
If you watch his interviews you can see the profound answers he gave to the most mundane questions which more than often left the interviewer flabbergasted, which they tried to cover up by mocking him instead and calling him “too intellectual”. You can almost sense the disappointment in his demeanour in not being understood. I hope he realized that it was a failure on their part, not his. In one of his interviews he expressed that the only thing a human wants from life is to be understood completely by someone. I don’t know if he ever found a match for his unique mind.
It’s always a joy to see someone like him with a very normal background make it big, and that too on his terms. It’s like normal people like to have consistent reaffirmations that something like this is possible. The last time an “outsider” made it big was probably Shahrukh Khan and many believed that Sushant had the same charm and command over the craft to replicate the feat. It would have reiterated people’s faith that it was not just an exception, but could actually become the norm.
He was an inspiration for many to take risks in life, even if it meant traversing uncharted paths and swimming against the tide. Because in the end such risks do pay off for some people. So when this tragedy struck, the same people felt cheated. It occurred to them that all their dreams, aspirations and milestones probably come at a great price, a price that sometimes has to be paid through one’s life.
All the expectations and beliefs suddenly came crashing down on them, and the person who until now was a symbol of inspiration became a symbol of caution. The biggest irony is that in his last released film, Chichore, he talked about the importance of living life to the fullest and cherishing the journey instead of obsessing over the destination.
His mind was too brilliant to be contained within the realms of one galaxy. We don’t know if we will ever get closure and if the real truth will ever come out. We can only speculate. What we know is that he had a beautifully chaotic mind and a restless soul. He had managed to preserve his true empathetic self despite being part of an industry that is known for being heartless and cold.
He was unconventional in every sense and there was no way he could be fit into boxes. He was one of a kind and the void he has left can’t be filled by anyone else. Whatever happened was extremely unfair and no one should go the way he did.
He once said that for him happiness meant “now+excitement”. Maybe he lost the excitement in the mundaneness of this world. Perhaps he just got bored. We’ll never know, and will keep on wishing that it never happened. We can only take lessons from his life, to always nurture the curiosity of our minds and not give in to the status quo. We can wish that he’s finally in a place that he always loved. After all, he did have his spot reserved on the moon.