By Pooja Kanwal-Mahtani Opening Doorz Editorial | June 16, 2020


Sushant Singh Rajput has gone. A story ended, leaving behind many questions. What could it have been that took to (slowly but surely) break a mind so razor sharp, focused and committed to its craft. And to shake an unshakeable confidence!!?


I remember going for a film and television award function in the year 2011. I had been busy with my own assignments on television which is why I hadn’t been watching much TV myself, so I wasn’t abreast with the plots or the characters of the superhit serials those days.

So I can’t say I had admired his work since his television days. But as I sat in the audience and watched a lot of new talent perform on stage that day, there was suddenly this electrifying energy when Sushant Singh Rajput came on stage. As he danced I could not help but scream with glee as his energy and spark over and above the perfect dance moves was attractive to say the least. I had probably only felt this way seeing Shahid Kapur or Hrithik Roshan perform ‘live’.

A certified Sushant Singh Rajput fan…

After that, I tried not to miss any of his dance performances in his TV reality shows. He was a cut above the rest—he had all the superstar qualities. As the news came of him leaving his daily soap to concentrate on his launch in films, there was almost a fear. We didn’t want another sad story of a super-talented and charming boy kicking his television success for a flop film career and at that cost even losing his television stardom. But he was undefeatable. And why shouldn’t he be? He had all that it takes to make a star. The ‘boy next door’ appeal, an impish charm, talent, tremendous focus, unmatchable dance timing, perfect acting, fitness, and above all, he showed tremendous strength of mind.

Sushant Singh Rajput has gone
Pooja Kanwal Mahtani in one of her official interactions with Sushant Singh Rajput.

Coming from a simple background, one can’t but think of what strength of mind it would’ve taken to stand in front of the Bollywood big wigs and hold your own. That same strength of mind which today stands questioned by many!

In his first film promotion on stage, one could clearly see how the very intelligent boy had worked hard on his style and finesse, something that tinsel town always subtly passed snide remarks on. His journey in cinema was for everyone to see. With each success of his, he gave hope to millions. There was sense of relatability with him. If he can, so can anyone that has talent and dedication of his level. He proved his mettle in the M S Dhoni biopic once again.

Talent and charm, however, are always questionable in any performing art. This is an industry where 2 plus 2 isn’t 4 and you are only what people think of who you are. If you break it down, there was no box that wasn’t ticked when it came to everything that was needed for superstardom. The kind that couldn’t have settled for alternate cinema, he was too larger than life.

Talent sidelined in Bollywood…

SSR has gone. A story ended leaving behind many questions. What could it have been that took to (slowly but surely) break a mind so razor sharp, focused and committed to its craft. And to shake an unshakeable confidence!!?

What could it have taken to make a person with so much joie de vivre want to put an end to his life? A person with passion that found beauty in little things in life and had dreams and a story behind each little dream that he fulfilled, step by step. As we saw in the video doing the rounds of his house and how each nook and corner tells a story.

Is Bollywood as we call it now [which was earlier just a simple film industry churning out honest content with the sheer goal of entertaining the audience by telling a story in the best possible way it can be told] actually a lot more complicated?

Are you a sum of judgement by the big daddies…

Does the glass ceiling really exist? Where if you are talented and have everything it takes, you can surely get noticed and get a lot of accolades but not beyond a point? Luck plays an important role in every field but does it play a much bigger role here than any other industry?

Despite having everything it takes do you still need to know how to suck up to people and become a part of the “camps”?

How many promises are broken, projects confirmed and signed on the dotted line and before you know it, without any discussion, taken away from you.

Irrespective of what you achieve can you still feel a sense of not “belonging” to the fraternity?

With everything that success in Bollywood takes out of you, by the time you get it, is it even worth it?

Despite having unquestionable talent and dedication are you just a sum of the judgement that the highly opiniated Bollywood big daddies have of you?

There is a God above us all…

With Sushant Singh’s story (that was hope to so many having ended up the way it has) is it reassurance to many that no matter how good you are you will never make it and if you do, you will be crushed—broken piece by piece.

Sorry Sushant, I hope your death is not in vain. I hope this so-called industry with back-stabbers and back-scratchers wake up and become a better place and that talent is given its due and humans are respected. I hope these so-called “Godfathers” realize that they are just human after all and that there is a God above us all and that there is justice for all.

Rest In Peace, dear Sushant Singh Rajput.

(Pooja Kanwal-Mahtani is a host who is busy with multiple shows on television. Apart from television, she is also the most sought-after hostess for ‘live’ events. Pooja knows Bollywood… very well… she began her career as an actress over a decade ago with Uff Kya Jadoo Mohabbat Hai).

Cover Pic Credit: @itsSSR twitter

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8 Comments »

  1. So true…as you mentioned there is a “God” above us all..but at the end of the day..the survival in this jungle (bollywood) is of the fittest..you need to be heartless and willing to step on another shoulder…sad but true 😥😥😥😥😥

  2. Those who did wrong with him will die same in this way…..badly …….sushant should b alive.he deserve success

  3. Life is too precious to be given away for wat ever reasons….Wish it was just a dream but alas !!
    Very well penned down Pooja.
    RIP Shushant.

  4. People will sob for a while and then forget as they have done in the past. The bollywood mafia thrives on such memories. Let’s not forget and forgive them.

  5. So true Pooja as he was a hope for a lot of people, he despite proving his mettle with each film had to start from scratch, begging for work. He got no awards for kai poche or Dhoni and quite shockingly was not even nominated in the best actor category in the recent Filmfare. Despite his two movies chichore and son chiraiya being nominated for best film.
    It was clear his talent and intelligence was a threat to these school dropouts cooterie, who were time and again given films shortlisted for him, where contract was relaxed to promote one and marginalise another.

  6. What a shame for driving a beautiful soul to end his career n life. Shame on Bollywood Let this be a wake up call to the movie industry from now on to encourage young promising talent. Let Sushant’s sacrifice not go in vain.

  7. This is so aptly worded and exactly how so many of us feel! 😢A super star in the making snuffed out so soon ! He made hearts melt and swell at the same time . SSR will be missed ! His every film and performance was realistic and towering !!! Made some people feel insecure ! Stay well up there SSR my friend – God is with you now …🙏

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