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Dear Sidharth, 40 Is No Age To Go



Sidharth Shukla

When I  heard of  Sidharth Shukla’s  going on Thursday morning,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 because he   was  not okay.

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 he didn’t really want to  get  typecast  as a television actor. Like all ambitious tv 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 to  Varun Dhawan.

Thereafter he  stayed away from cinema, and  decided to forge a different path  for himself. The  opportunity to  make his presence felt came  on Big 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 couldn’t believe what was happening to him. “It’s all quite unreal. 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 see only 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 just 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  on hold.

In my  last interview with him Sidharth said, “We are in an alarming situation. We wait for an antidote to the virus. 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. In the meanwhile I am doing my usual cardio-vascular, leading a very regimented life at home. Everyone wants to resume work, but at what cost?”

I do  know  he was  flooded with  offers after  the Bigg Boss victory. But  Sidharth had  put all  career decisions on  hold  until  the  pandemic was  over.

In my last  interview with him Sidharth said  , “I really wouldn’t know what lies in store for me. 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.”

Sidharth led a very disciplined life. He   ate  frugally, slept well , did his exercises  vigorously neither drank nor womanized.

About his  lockdown  regime he said  to  me, “I am  eating  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  bingeing on  web serials. I  don’t want  to get  addicted to them  . Throughout this lockout I’ve  watched  only one web series Suits. That’s it.”

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 chat  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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