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Looking at Sushant's roller coaster life

June 15, 2020 12:49 IST
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Sushant finished off his innings in style by scoring high on his last theatrical release, Chichhore, a film that was ironically about suicide not being a solution.
Joginder Tuteja remembers an actor with a difference.


Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

'This can't be true.'

That's the first reaction I had when the horrific news of Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide reached me.

Taking one's own life can never have any rationale.

'Why would he do that?'

That's the question that many have asked me.

Frankly, no one can ever know.

The reasons are always personal for an individual.

Last I hear, he hasn't left any note.

IMAGE: Sushant with Kriti Sanon during the promotions of Raabta. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

I won't say Sushant was a friend. He wasn't an acquaintance either.

We may have spoken a few times for the promotion of his films, I may have tweeted something about his films and he may have reacted to it. That's it.

But whenever we chatted, formal as it may have been, there was a lot of energy around.


IMAGE: Sushant with Rajkummar Rao and Amit Sadh in Kai Po Che!

I don't watch television serials, so it did not really matter that the 'star' of Pavitra Rishta was debuting with Kai Po Che!

I was super impressed with his confident act though.

In a realistic set up, he came with a star-like quality that was accentuated in the hit, Shuddh Desi Romance.

IMAGE: Sushant with Anushka Sharma in PK.

To have a Rs 300 crore club blockbuster to your name can be super thrilling.

But not if you were a very minor part of a bigger set up.

I don't know whether Sushant knew that Aamir Khan-Raj Kumar Hirani's PK would have him paired with Anushka Sharma, but it would be difficult to take something noteworthy out of him.

I had wondered why he did it.

IMAGE: Sushant with Shekhar Kapur.

Yash Raj Film's collaboration with Shekhar Kapur -- Paani -- was planned as a multi-crore extravaganza with Sushant.

The film was launched, shelved, brought back in the news, thrown into oblivion again, and all that Sushant was left was to answer was: 'When will Paani begin?'

He waited two-three years to give that answer, but unfortunately, the film was permanently shelved.

IMAGE: Sushant in Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.

The films that he did in the interim period were not working either.

Yash Raj Films brought Dibakar Banerjee to direct Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.

Sushant gave his all to the role, but the narrative was patchy. The film flopped, as did Raabta, another biggie set on a huge scale. It featured him in a double role across centuries.

Pritam's music was a chartbuster, but not enough to pull audiences in.

His space thriller Chanda Mama Door Ke did not take off either.

IMAGE: Sushant in MS Dhoni: The Untold Story.

You can't keep a good man down for long, and that was seen with the superhit success of MS Dhoni - The Untold Story.

Sushant transformed himself into the then Indian skipper in this Neeraj Pandey directorial.

Cynics credited the cricketer himself for the film's success, but it was Sushant's show all the way.

IMAGE: Sushant with Sara Ali Khan in Kedarnath.

Even as he was trying to get a hold on his career, Kedarnath got into legal issues and at one point, it seemed the film would not see the light of the day.

Then Saif Ali Khan, father of debuting leading lady Sara Ali Khan, stepped in and ensured that everything was sorted.

The film turned out to be a surprise success.

IMAGE: Sushant in Sonchiriya.

For every MS Dhoni - The Untold Story and Kedarnath, there was a Sonchiriya and Drive.

The former found a patchy release, and that infuriated Sushant so much so that he even took to social media, indicating that the film had been sabotaged.

Drive was a bad film and when the makers decided to bring it straight to OTT, it was further doomed.

In fact, his film Dil Bechara has been stuck for over a year.

IMAGE: Sushant with the Chhichhore cast.

Sushant finished off his innings in style by scoring high on his last theatrical release, Chichhore, a film that was ironically about suicide not being a solution.

His character aged through the film, from a young college student to the middle-aged father of a teenage son.

The film turned out to be a Rs 100 Crore Club success.

Little did anyone know that he would be signing off with this.

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