Acting talent : Sushant Singh Rajput's most tragic and untimely and unexplained suicide, has begun simmering unheeded. One Year on, we look at all the conversations his death prompted.

''If you think about it, Life is much more than broken dreams,'' writes Actor Alizeh Shah. 

Paparazzi - convincing acting and Kardashian-like portrayals of celebrity lives can lead one to believe that those in showbiz have it easy. 

Good money, easy fame and way out of all problems. But sometimes, that bubble bursts, While we don't exactly know what a celebrity may be going through, when met with his / her demise, we realize they didn't have it as easy we thought.

 Such was the case with budding Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, who died by suicide last year, June. This Monday marked precisely one one year since he was found dead in his Bandra Apartments in Mumbai.

While fans in India and Pakistan united to remember him, the aftermath of his death was something no one likes to recall.

Soon after Rajput's funeral, his father KK Singh filed an FIR accusing his girl-friend, actor Rhea Chakraborty, of abetting the suicide. He also accused her of money laundering, as reported by Hindustan Times.

While the exact cause of Rajput's demise is still unknown, the debate tat reared its head was how a man who had made it in Hollywood entirely on his own, without any connections or internal help, could give up on life while his career was at its peak.

However, those close to him allege that the failure of Rajput's last two releases - Drive and Dil Bechara - affected him deeply. Some cited discrimination for being 'outsider' as the underlying reason , to be another factor leading to his passing.

Bollywood's 'Inequality'

Is it fair to say that Rajput's death unveiled the inequality in Bollywood? Actor Adhyayan Suman, who has faced this discrimination, despite being the son a Shekhar Suman, thinks so.

''It was a good thing that so much came out. There are so many inequalities in Bollywood. Sushant's death brought out so many things that are prevalent in our industry,'' he was quoted as saying.. ''How much change has it brought [though]?

Have deserving people started getting work? Has it become easier for them?''

The 33 year-old added that irrespective of the backlash, most industry bigwigs still refuse to entertain new or lesser-known faces.

 ''I don't think directors have started taking calls of nobodies. I don't want to name the filmmaker.... but he came to me during the pandemic last year and said ' I love you as an artist but there is no chance I am not going to give you work'.

It's been then and now, he's not answering my calls. It's unfortunate. I am not sure anything has changed.''

Reinstating how a showbiz is after all a ''business,'' actor Samir Soni argued that Bollywood does not run-on-charities and like every business, the investor has to think about profits.

''If he [filmmaker] can do that with his own son, or with a guy from a small town in Bihar, it is a business. A Lot of people say 'merit counts.' Then people like Naseeruddin Shah and late Om Puri should have been the highest paid actors in the country. But the market decides that,'' the Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives star explained.

Soni feels that such topics strike an emotional chord with people, which is why they fail to look at things logistically. ''If I was to make a film and had enough money, I wouldn't play the central character. I know people will crowd theaters to watch someone more saleable.

If a film doesn't work, the public won't say, ''Even though he lost 20 crores, he gave a new guy a chance. They will just say the film didn't work,'' he explained.

Nonetheless, Soni called Rajput a ''success story'' for managing to deliver many hits and working with different directors, despite being an 'outsider'.

Actors get a voice

Rajput's demise not only brought important discussions about the film industry to the fore but also gave many actors - outsiders - the courage and power to speak up. A rank outsider, Amol Parashar, claimed several friends and well-wishers reached out to him after such conversations started.

''There were conversations about the inner lives of young actors, the pressures they live with on a day-to-day basis and the demons they fight away from the public eye.

In a few days though, the conversations became convoluted and instead of sympathizing with his colleagues and friends, and who were dealing with the loss, some sections of the media turned the incident into a headless witch hunt,'' rued the 34-year-old.

The Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare actor hopes the conversations about young people's internal struggles can be approached with much empathy in the future, especially in an industry ''that keeps you on your toes all the time.''

The World Students Society thanks The Express Tribune.


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