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We will never know the real Sidharth Shukla

By SUBHASH K JHA
September 04, 2021 09:57 IST
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'I've only received love and appreciation.'
'Maybe I only see the love because that's what I want to see,' the actor, who died suddnly on Thursday, once told Subhash K Jha.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sidharth Shukla/Instagram
 

When I heard of Sidharth Shukla's passing on September 2, my first reaction was of disbelief.

I quickly went to my WhatsApp and messaged him, 'Sidharth, are you okay?'

Of course, there was no reply.

To lose one's life at the cusp of the Big Explosion is a cruel blow dealt by fate.

I knew Sidharth when he gained popularity on Balika Badhu in 2012.

He was restless and did not want to get typecast as a television actor.

Like all ambitious television actors, he gravitated towards the big screen.

His debut in the Karan Johar produced Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya didn't go well for him. I don't think Sidharth liked playing a supporting role.

IMAGE: Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Shukla in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya.

Thereafter, he stayed away from cinema, and decided to forge a different path for himself.

The opportunity to make his presence felt came on Bigg Boss Season 13 where he not only won the contest but also left an indelible mark as a volatile, hot-tempered, impetuous ladies man, who called a spade a spade.

Sidharth came out of Bigg Boss a star.

Everyone loved his rebellious performance.

He could't believe what was happening to him.

"It's all quite unreal," he had said then. "Earlier, they would associate me with the serials I acted in and call me by the names of my characters. Now, they call me Sidharth Shukla. I really like that.

"I've only received love and appreciation. Maybe I only see the love because that's what I want to see. There were those who felt I didn't have it in me to win. I proved them wrong; I did have it in me."

Before he could enjoy the fruits of his stardom, the lockdown happened.

Sidharth's career plans were put on hold.

In my last interview with him, Sidharth had said, "We are in an alarming situation. We wait for an antidote to the virus, but until then, we don't know where we can go. Yes, my career is on pause but that's the least of the problems right now."

"Meanwhile, I am doing my usual cardio-vascular, leading a very regimented life at home," he added. "Everyone wants to resume work, but at what cost?"

He was flooded with offers after the Bigg Boss victory. but Sidharth had put all career decisions on hold until the pandemic was over.

"I really wouldn't know what lies in store for me," he had said.

"I don't know what I will be resuming with. All that needs to be figured out after work is resumed. I can't pick the one thing that I will be resuming with. It will have to be figured out after the lockdown."

"I can't be whining about my lost opportunities when the world is in a chaos. Yeah, of course, there are lots of things that were waiting to happen after Bigg Boss. They'll just have to wait."

 

IMAGE: Sidharth with his mother. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sidharth Shukla/Instagram

Sidharth led a very disciplined life.

He ate frugally, slept well, did his exercises.

About his lockdown regime, he had said, "I have a healthy diet, no extra eating for me. In fact, I'm not doing anything that I wouldn't do in normal circumstances. I am not even binging on Web serials. I don’t want to get addicted to them. Throughout this lockout, I've watched only one Web series Suits."

He indulged in no excesses and in spite of the reputation of being a ladies man, the only woman in his life was his mother.

Sidharth's DP on his WhatsApp reads, 'You may know me. But you've no idea who I am.'

I guess we will never know the real Sidharth Shukla.

Rest in peace, Sidharth.

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SUBHASH K JHA