Sushant Singh Rajput: Gap between the heart and art of public solitude matters more than nepotism

Sushant had already spoken quite openly about nepotism. Then what it was which brought about the tragedy of the sudden and abrupt end of his ‘shudh desi romance’ with the fans

Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput

Monojit Lahiri

First things first. It would seem like a conveniently blithe assumption to imagine film stars enjoying a more exciting and event-filled life than us common folks; glamour, fame, money, romance, sex, drugs, booze, scandals included! These pointers obviously arrive from media – newspaper headlines, TV, radio and gossip, right?

There is also a notion that publicity has a terrible effect on people’s lives because mass admiration can disturb the emotional and mental equilibrium of individuals and lead to mental imbalance, even suicide, once all this vanishes. Celeb-watchers, however, believe that this may not necessarily be true because admired public figures in other walks of life aren’t as impressionable and weak as entertainers. Here, the basic internal make-up of a star is worth probing.

Hunger appears to be the paramount, driving force for stars/entertainers. They crave for applause, adulation and affection. This pre-supposes an inner emptiness, a gnawing feeling of inadequacy that forms the basis of emotional insecurity. This frantic, endless search is usually based on their deadly, inherent psychic emptiness. This seldom happens to other gifted souls famous in the other arts such as music, poetry, literature, painting, theatre, etc. Why?

They seem to have more patience and the nature of the beast (in their case) is less ravenous and hunger-prone. They may have the same drive and dedication as stars and are equally desirous of great feedback and fan-following but, unlike stars, are cognizant of the time required to gain artistic excellence. Another tangible (and serious) difference between these two lies in the artist’s uncompromising devotion to his/her own artistic integrity irrespective of market forces. This is conspicuously lacking in the entertainer.

Public adulation and box office success is, for them, their ultimate success quotient. Unlike the artist, instant gratification is their staple diet. Their hunger is too great; need, too immediate. Impatience and lack of restraint drives their calling. No one defined it better than the Rolling Stones with their chilling 60’s anthem that said it all, “Ah can’t get no sat-is-faction ...!”

Today, while media commentators, film personalities and mental health experts continue to freak out on the reason of the 34 year old’s shocking exit from tinsel town – with raging debates on nepotism leading the way – it could be useful to shift focus to another area ... take a look at the space between the heart of a private person completely unfamiliar with the tricky art of public solitude. The art of retaining territories where trespassers will be prosecuted.

For these fragile creatures, so deep and intimate is the living and recapturing of rapture, anguish, joy, pain and panic, even intimations of mental breakdown and death that perceptive audiences sometime feel like voyeurs encroaching on their private space. In SSR’s death, the sense of loss tends to get mixed up with collective guilt, confusion and incomprehension. This obsession for privacy, behavorial scientists have stated, is a form of violence from within that protects the violence from without.

At the end of the day, death is no stranger to these intensely troubled souls for whom life is a long day’s journey into night; for whom life is the original sin for being born in a world neither caring nor interested in people determined to find board and lodging in a space suffused with truth and integrity, distanced from the popular, phoney, pretentious, pseudo and plastic.

Farewell Sushant Singh Rajput ... sing to your heart’s content the Sinatra classic, ‘Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars...’ the ones above. Clearly, you had your fill of the ones below.

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Published: 17 Jun 2020, 4:18 PM