Shatrughan Sinha: “I Hear Echoes Of My Own Struggle In Sushant Singh Rajput.”

Like  Shatrughan  Sinha,  Sushant Singh Rajput   was  the  wannabe  Bollywood actor from Patna who made his way  into the  closely-knit film industry.

Says Shatruji, “I can empathize with his struggle. This  film industry is  not kind to  outsiders  specially  from Bihar. I remember when I came to Mumbai to be  an actor producers and directors  looked at me  as though I   was  from another planet. ‘Yeh  kyon aaya hai?’  asked their eyes. When I came  here the  heroes were all fair-skinned and  cute. I looked just the  opposite.”

Shatruji  surprised himself from  becoming  successful. “It  was  a long struggle, bahot dhakke  khaeen pade ..But I never  thought of  giving up. Suicide was  not even an option. Why should it be? Life is  too precious. I’ve heard  Sushant  was  going through hard times financially. His rent had to paid and  there  was  no money flowing in. But that  doesn’t mean  you take your life.34  is  no age  to die.”

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He wonders what  kind of  signal Sushant’s   suicide sends  out to youngsters. “Sushant  was  young, handsome,  talented and  successful. When he  ended his  life his fans  must have wondered why. When you are  in the limelight you have a responsibility towards  the public.”

About the  nepotism debate, Shatruji says, “No individual or group can take away what’s meant for you.Kumar Gaurav, son  of  supersar Rajendra Kumar  was  launched with fanafare. But his  career  got nowhere.When my friend   Amitabh Bachchan came  into the  film   industry he  faced  a series  of rejections.  My daughter  Sonakshi  was  lucky to be launched  by Salman Khan who is   a family friend. But  Sushant who had  no Bollywood connections got launched in Hindi cinema with a fim like   Kai Po Che. That’s  the only film I’ve seen  of Sushant.And he  was a scenestealer in it.  I had eyes  only for him in spite of the talented Rajkummar Rao  in the cast. . I could  see he had a bright future. I don’t know what went wrong.”
Shatruji recalls  meeting Sushant only once.  “He  was  my daughter Sonakshi’s colleague. They met more often.  I met him once and he was  very charming,  well-read, polite  curious  and  focused. I felt he had a  very bright future ahead.”

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 Then there  was  the Patna connection. “His family was least affected by his stardom, just like my family. I am surprised  my family has not met Sushant’s father in Patna as yet. But when I’m in Patna  next  I will most certainly meet  his father.”


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