We are only six months in, and 2020 has already been a very difficult year--from dealing with a global pandemic to losing some of our most beloved Bollywood stars. While fans were still coping with the deaths of icons like Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor, the tragic death of Kedarnath actor Sushant Singh Rajput has left fans and friends utterly heartbroken.
Several people have taken to social media to pay their tribute to the young star, who died by suicide on Sunday. Fellow colleagues and fans have been tweeting fond memories, favourite movie moments, poetry, old pictures and other sweet tributes. One particularly touching tribute was a note written by Sushant's friend, Atul Mishra, who went to school with the departed actor in Patna.
Atul posted the note on Facebook, along with a few pictures from their school days. He wrote that he never saw Sushant as a star and always remembered him as a lanky teenager from school. He also recollected some of their fond memories together. "You were a fantastic friend Sushant. I remember that cycle race we had from Boring Road to Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan, Patna. I remember countless group study sessions that we used to have at my home where I taught English and Biology to the group and you taught us Physics. I remember my mom specially cooking food for you because your mother had left for her heavenly abode by then. I could see the gratitude and thankfulness in your eyes," he said.
Now that Sushant is no more, Atul said he feels a void in his life.
He also admitted that the two of them didn't always see eye-to-eye on several issues like politics and religion, and Atul also didn't like some of Sushant's movies. "Sushant, I disagreed with your politics. I absolutely hated it when you dropped Rajput from your name...I also hated it when you did a movie like Kedarnath. But now when I go through your timeline mate, see your responses, and the various reports that are coming in, I realize the kind of duress you were under. The Bollywood Mafia made you say things you probably didn’t even mean. I am truly sorry for being angry my friend. You have always been a religious man with a scientific temperament. It clearly shows in your Insta and Twitter feed."
He recalled how Sushant stood up to bullies in school and was certain that he fought Bollywood's nepotism the same way. "Sushant, I know you were denied of the success that you truly deserved. Sushant, I know that you were anything but a weakling. You have stood up to bullying in school. We have fought each other and fought together; I just hope we had stayed in touch. Maybe, it wouldn’t have come to this. Maybe, we could have fought one last fight together against the nepotism driven industry," he wrote.
It takes an incredible amount of honesty to admit your differences and flaws, but Atul says that he now regrets judging and mocking the actor. "In the past 9 years that we stopped talking, I have loathed and loved you, I have mocked and missed you, I have felt ashamed and proud of you. Now that you are no more, I feel sorry for loathing and mocking and feeling ashamed of you. Now that you are gone, I miss you, love you and I am proud of you," he said.
He ends the letter on an emotional note, hoping to 'race again' with Sushant the way they used to when they were kids. "We will race again my friend someday. We will sit again someday. We will eat together again someday. We will discuss what went wrong with you? In the next world or next life, we will meet again. Until then. I will miss you."
It is clear that Sushant touched a lot of hearts in his short life. Let's honour his legacy by creating awareness about mental illness, and initiating a dialogue with our loved ones.