'During his final months, he just didn't want to meet anyone.'
Writer-director Rumi Jaffrey is in a state of shock after hearing of Sushant Singh Rajput's death.
"This is the third death of someone close to me within weeks," he tells Subhash K Jha.
"Rishi Kapoor was like a brother, then Wajid Khan was like family. And now Sushant. I can't believe it!
"Sushant was very close to me and my family. He loved my wife's cooking and insisted on having her khana as soon as the lockdown would be over. We had to meet for the film that we were doing. It was to be produced by Vashu Bhagnani," says Rumi.
"For some time now, Sushant and I were discussing a possible project together. He told me to leave the choice of producer to him. We finally zeroed in on Vashuji," adds Rumi.
The shooting was to begin in July.
"We were to shoot the film in London," says Rumi. "But then this virus ended our plans. We had promised to meet immediately after the lockdown. It seems God had other plans."
Rumi cannot understand why Sushant needed to end his life.
"He always had a smile for everyone. He was so full of positive energy. My son loved him. I am talking to you away from his hearing distance because he would be very disturbed to hear me talking of Sushant in the past (tense)," says Rumi.
"It's easy for people to make sarcastic comments on social media about all those 'privileged Bollywood people' who abandoned Sushant in his final days. But no one abandoned him."
"During his final months, he just didn't want to meet anyone."