June 26, 2020
Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s recent death by suicide has shaken the world. He was a star on the rise — once an Indian television actor, Rajput broke out into Bollywood with award-winning films such as Kai Po Che (2013) and Aamir Khan-starrer PK (2014). He ended up depicting real-life cricket sensation M.S. Dhoni in a biopic and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy in Dibakar Banerjee’s homage to the beloved Calcuttan character. He was about to release Dil Bechara, the Hindi remake of The Fault in Our Stars (2014). Just a few days before his June 14 death, Rajput’s manager also died by suicide.
I first saw Rajput in Shuddh Desi Romance (2013), a film that to my family was forgettable but that I loved — even though Rajput’s character wasn’t the good guy, he just lit up the screen.
I’ve heard and read, “I don’t know why he did it” many times since his death. The sentiment feels crass and naive. But, unlike some, I know exactly how he felt because I have attempted suicide. Fans are now contending with the outward glamour of Rajput’s life while recognizing that he might have been grappling with mental illness.