Sushant Singh Rajput’s death by suicide has brought into focus the issue of nepotism in Bollywood. Filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee, who had worked with Sushant in the 2015 film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! opened up about the kind of person Sushant was.
As someone who had worked hard and made it in show business, Sushant did not take his opportunities lightly. Yet, as a science and astronomy buff, he prided himself in having an intellectual life away from the shallow aspects of showbiz, revealed Dibakar.
He Was A Happy, Dance Loving ‘Chhokra’
Dibakar told PTI, that Sushant was someone who would put a lot of value on preparation for his performance, and give it his all on sets. Dibakar remembers him as ‘a total pro, enthused, sincere and totally focused.’ He added, “As a person, he seemed to me a happy dance loving ‘chhokra’ from an engineering college who had made it in showbiz and now was serious about acting. He was deeply nostalgic about his carefree student days in Delhi. We used to laugh a lot – I remember that quite clearly.”
‘Always Had A Book Or Two With Him’
When asked if Sushant was interested in things other things other than acting, Dibakar said, “Totally true. He was a science and astronomy nut. Always had a book or two with him – and was proud of the fact that he had an inner intellectual life away from the shallower aspects of showbiz. I recognized it as a reflex, protective action to prevent the Bollywood swamp sucking him in totally. And also an identity he wanted to protect and project.”
Did He Struggle With Being An ‘Outsider’?
On being asked if Sushant struggled with being an ‘outsider’ despite being a powerhouse of talent, Dibakar replied, “We all fight it, day in and out – whether successful or failing. But the trick is to define that success and failure ourselves and not let the narrative constantly forced by the establishment to get to you. Those who know this weather the storm and ultimately survive and thrive.”
The Biggest Unfairness In All This..
He added, “The biggest unfairness in all this is that it takes double the talent, energy and hard work for an outsider to convince the audience and the industry that he or she is as safe a box office bet as a mediocre, unmotivated and entitled establishment elite. The media colludes in this by wallowing in family, coterie and celebrity worship. This leads to deep anger and frustration. Those who can let this slide survive. Those who can’t – those who hurt a little more or are vulnerable and impressionable – they are at risk.”