In his own words, Sushant Singh Rajput lived by the maxim “Sapne Banate Rahenge Aur Jeete Rahenge”. Translated, it means, I will keep making and living my dreams.
Sushant was as meticulous about documenting his dreams as he was about achieving them. He wanted to learn how to farm (Dream 35/50), was helping train more and more women in self-defense (Dream 33/50), and was pursuing his passion to be an ambidextrous archer (Dream 37/50). Towards the end, fate had only allowed him to live 12 of his 50 dreams.
Sadly, it is only after his unfortunate and untimely murder, it has now emerged that this gifted actor was also an Engineer, a Dancer, a Theatre artist, an Astronomer, a Physicist, a Mathematician, a Coder, an Entrepreneur, a Gamer, an Ironman Triathlon trainee, a Philanthropist and a Visionary.
To understand Sushant’s life, we must start from where we began his life in Bihar. A back bencher with a brilliant mind, Sushant stood 7th in the All India Delhi College of Engineering Entrance Examination in 2003 and got his admission in the Delhi College of Engineering for Chemical Engineering. He was an awardee of the national level Olympiad in Physics.
In college, he joined Shiamak Davar’s dance classes and quickly became the leader dancer in the troupe. Seeing his passion for the stage, Shiamak encouraged Sushant to join theatre and Sushant joined Barry John’s Theatre Workshops. It was here that he was offered a role in a TV series “Kis desh mein hai mera dil” – that changed everything forever. He took his biggest gamble and walked away from his Engineering major one year before completion to move to Mumbai to pursue acting.
Sushant’s repertoire as an actor for 13 years included roles in theatre, television and Bollywood movies. Towards the end of his life, he had already portrayed 58 characters, including Manav Deshmukh in the very popular series Pavitra Rishta for television, his popular role of the cricketer in the biopic of MS Dhoni on the big screen and the one that of Manny in his posthumously released movie Dil Bechara.
His dream was to play the Black Swan one day. He envisioned producing biopics/documentaries on personalities such as Vivekananda (Dream 46/50) and Murli Kant Pedkar (India’s first paralympic gold medalist swimmer).
Sushant was one of the few actors who never used a double on the sets of the most challenging roles. He never complained of the repeated takes of tough scenes that some shoots might take – an example being his role of Pitthoo from the movie Kedarnath – who carries pilgrims on his back up and down the mountains. Sushant toiled carrying the pilgrims through several takes of the shoot without using a double. He even practiced this skill in the gym while using the treadmill and carrying a heavy sandbag.
He was known for his intense and fierce workouts and was training for the Ironman triathlon. (Dream 2/50). He was even getting better at his four clap push-ups (Dream 1/50). Such was his commitment to his art and life that he wanted to present himself to the world in his finest body and mind fitness.
As an entrepreneur, Sushant was future focused as evident in the 3 companies he had co-founded. He was a visionary who was working on projects like Artificial Intelligence, Sustainable development and Exponential technologies (Dream 48/50).
He envisioned removing poverty in India using AI. He started a nonprofit called Front India for World Foundation to eradicate poverty and hunger. He started Sushant4Education for education programs for students. One such program was to send 100 students for workshops to NASA – he has already sent 2 of them. (Dream 13/50). One of his other projects was to create apps to teach coding for free for a future generation of coders.
He partnered with the think tank of the Government of India – Niti Ayoga partner to promote Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP). Niti Ayog is engaged in the creation of non-zero-sum emergent bottom-up systems where everyone benefits.
Sushant was a member of the Lunar Land Registry (ILLR) for 3 years before buying a piece of land called Mare Moscoviense on the far side of the moon. A passionate astronomer he wanted to chart the trajectories of the Moon, Mars Jupiter and Saturn (Dream 8/50). He was determined to understand the Polynesian astronomy (Dream 39/50).
Even in his career as an actor SSR could not abandon engineering – “Yeah curiosity engineer dil aur dimag hai jo kabhi chodta nahin”. Translated it means, “My heart and my mind are like that of an engineer’s, they are always curious.”
Sushant always analysed risk and then carefully chose his projects and movies. He used decision rules like minimax from concepts like game theory to help him understand the worst-case potential loss.
Several tales of Sushant’s generosity and humanity are now beginning to appear. In August 2018, a fan had tagged him on social media for help with donations for the flood victims of Kerala. Sushant not only donated One Crore Rupees in his fan’s name, he also thanked him for inspiring him to make the contribution. His Instagram post read “As promised my friend, @subhamranjan66, what you wanted to do has been done. You made me do this, so be extremely proud of yourself. You delivered exactly when it was needed. Lots and lots of love. FLY Cheers #MyKerala”.
He is probably the only celebrity who personally replied to every fan message – so much so that the Instagram algorithms thought it was spam and blocked SSR by removing his reply button!
Stories of people lucky enough to feel the warmth and generosity of the person Sushant was are coming out after his death. He leaves behind the essence of his being through the millions of SSRians who have been inspired by his life and dreams. We must inherit his legacy and take his dreams to fulfillment.
Sushant lived freely – a life of his choosing and gave others under guidance and lucky enough to be his friends a chance to thrive under him. He did not allow himself to be impacted by nepotism in the Bollywood industry. He continued to strive for making himself better and better through his words and actions.
The shocking death of this bright star and noble soul has shaken the whole world. Even those not familiar with Sushant’s movies have been rattled by this unconscionable murder and the subsequent coverup. Like the assassination of John F Kennedy, the murder of SSR has been mired in controversies and conspiracies. There have been continuous attempts by the ruling powers to sabotage and shut down the investigation by pushing the narrative that the actor committed suicide. The obvious clues of the murder hiding in plain sight have been swept aside in deliberate efforts to shut down the case. The belligerent attempts by the Mumbai police to prevent the investigation by putting the Bihar police (by putting them in quarantine), CBI (by not making it easy to access evidence), media (arresting them for asking questions) and others who have spoken up (demolishing the buildings and offices) has further incensed those looking for answers.
The investigation so far has exposed the rotten underbelly of Bollywood with its power brokers and drug lords who rule and keep a tight grip on the dissemination of information. The shameful silence of the Bollywood industry on the murder of Sushant and the blatant support of the industry extended to his ex-girlfriend – who has been the co-accused in the case – has infuriated the Sushant Singh Rajput fans the world over. Their call for justice has grown louder each day. The wide network of fans has been coming together to continue the campaign to compel the authorities to find culprits and bring them to justice. We trust the CBI to prove in court that it indeed was murder by conspiracy. And until that day, we’re going to fight for Sushant Singh Rajput’s justice.
* The above article has been written in collaboration with team members from VS4J, VStand4Justice.org.
IMPORTANT ARTICLES RELATED TO THE CASE:
Bollywood’s Dark Secrets – A BBC Investigation:
Why hasn’t Bollywood had its #MeToo movement? Read HERE.
Why Londoners oppose the idea of having the DDLJ statue installed at Leicester Square?
Articles and Obituaries for Sushant Singh Rajput:
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The Fight For Justice
Capturing the radiant essence of Sushant Singh Rajput, his towering legacy, and our unbreakable connection with him in a few words is difficult. But, in our pursuit of justice for his brilliant soul, we are already redefining what’s possible.
After all, our “Dear Photon” was that bundle of energy who showed us how to contemplate deeply, seek change and inspire action in others.
He was on his way to sending 100 kids for workshops in ISRO/NASA (Dream 13/50), was helping train more and more women in self-defense (Dream 33/50), and was pursuing his passion to be an ambidextrous archer (Dream 37/50).
There was so much more he was aspiring for our future and actively working towards until the day he was murdered.
Join us as we shatter past narratives and move towards a collective future that our Sushant had dreamt for us. We’re all living our lives now, but isn’t it time we live our dreams?!
If you’re like us, we need your help to make the resounding roar of justice louder! Words are encouraging, but actions are empowering! Are you with us?