Sushant and his love for books

Before I get into the details of Sushant and books, I want to acknowledge the wonderful work of Sushanta Roy, the sculptor from Asansol (West Bengal), who has won millions of hearts by immortalizing Sushant with a wax statue. The coincidence that the creator and the created bear almost the same name is also charming.

It is evident from Sushant’s well-documented life and interviews that he was a bibliophile and a “real” intellectual.

I have written this before in one of my posts that both in-person and over the phone, Sushant and I have talked about various books, from some legendary classics to the more contemporary non-fiction. I am a voracious reader as well and I read almost ONLY non-fiction. For the most part, Sushant was also heavily invested the world of non-fiction.

When I was going over my texts with him, I noticed that we talked about books and authors over WhatsApp as well. It’s nice that I have those messages since unfortunately we don’t have recordings of our in-person conversation about books.

Although the WhatsApp conversations I am sharing below are private and 1:1, I am willing to share them because they don’t share any personal information. It’s something he could have very well spoken about in the public domain. These conversations are around from the same time (April 2018) when Sushant had penned down some notes, which have somehow been obtained by media from his Pawna farmhouse. I have terminated the screenshots when we started talking about life outside of books. We will leave the rest of the story for some other time. Sushant and Shweta also talked about books but I could not help but notice that their common interest topics were very different from Sushant and mine. That was Sushant’s beauty- he was interested in everything, while I on the other hand, don’t venture into certain non-fiction territories and stick to my preferred genres. The common topics of interest for these lovely siblings is also a post for some other day. Meanwhile, I welcome you to enjoy some intellectual banter in Sushant’s memory below and you will realize that Sushant was very interested in interdisciplinary studies.

Three months since the unimaginable loss

I wrote a long post about the paid PR gimmicks which I have been observing lately but decided to scrap it.

Instead of talking about the case, I will reminisce about a couple of things. Since my wife and I don’t live in India, we used to catch up with Sushant over FaceTime or WhatsApp. Here is a cute screenshot of one of our FaceTime conversations.

Every now and then, I will share some sweet memory of Sushant with the “Extended Family” so that we slowly heal while the fight for justice is on. Needless to say, we are so thankful for the support we have received from the #Warriors4SSR in the pursuit of justice.

What’s happened is so surreal that we are partly still in trauma. Every now and then, we smile and laugh about something our children do and a wave of guilt takes over. We question ourselves if we have the permission to smile when we have lost our brother. It will take us a long while before we go back to normal and I am pretty sure we will never be back to the status quo, but we will keep trying to heal and hopefully time will help.

As for a sweet anecdote, when Shweta and I started dating in college, Sushant, playing a typical protective brother, questioned my intentions for his sister. We assured him that we were serious about the relationship but he was only fully convinced when I came down from the US to marry Shweta, after a short stint with long distance relationship. Rest is history!

Happy with the latest developments

Some people think that the drug angle is a distraction from the homicide case however I beg to differ. Drugs and homicide have gone hand-in-hand for ages. I am pretty confident that the drugs angle, in addition to other investigations CBI is doing, will lead to the answer to many questions which everyone is wondering about.

That being said, very happy with the arrests made so far and hope that these arrests will lead to more revelations which is what we want.

My only concern is if people in high places can still add impediments to the progress since I have noticed in the last few days that the Twitter bots and Twitter paid PR have gotten extremely active and increasingly nasty. I choose to stay optimistic, going into this weekend. I am sure Sush is smiling from upstairs as well, happy that things are progressing.

Cheers from Sush. A rare picture where Sushant wore my daughter’s hairband for fun!

Five times my wife left me behind in America to be with her brother

It sounds like I am complaining that she left me behind but I am not. This is an appreciation of the strength of the Singh Rajput family bond I have seen over the years.

2014

In 2014, we were slated to visit India over the summer break. However, Shweta got to know that a family function was being organized to celebrate Rani Didi and Jiju’s wedding anniversary and Sushant would be attending as well. She canceled her summer ticket and rushed to India at short notice. I joined her next month in June with my daughter and spent some quality time with Sushant as well.

2015

In 2015, Shweta left with our son and visited Sushant in Ranchi where he was shooting for the movie MS Dhoni.

2016

In 2016, it was decided that the entire Singh Rajput family would watch the movie MS Dhoni together. Again at very short notice, Shweta made a 3-day trip from the US to India, just to watch the movie together as a family and celebrate Sushant’s success. She spent 2-days flying and 3-days in India with the entire family. Can you imagine the jetlag?

Shweta, Sushant and Meetu Di in October 2016

2017

Thankfully, she didn’t leave me behind this time around and we all got to hang out with Sushant!

2020

In January 2020, she left without me again at short notice after being informed that Sushant is visiting Chandigarh. Alas, he was under such circumstances that she didn’t even get to meet him and by now everyone knows why. And finally, during COVID times, she rushed as soon as logistically possible to India after the news on June 14th, to give a loving sendoff to her precious brother.

It’s sad that she won’t be making such trips anymore (the happy ones, prior to 2019) because the shining star of the family is gone. It hurts me when aspersions are cast on a wonderful family like Sushant’s. My wife is a married professional businesswoman living in the US with two kids (it’s a very busy lifestyle) but she prioritized to be with her family when the family needed her, despite all the limitations. Such is the Singh Rajput family!

PS: Those who don’t live in the US running 2 businesses with a working professional spouse and 2 kids, don’t try to undermine the effort because you won’t understand the challenges of setting everything aside at short notice, to travel to India to meet an extremely busy movie actor. The emphasis here is on trips without me to meet Sushant. There were countless logistical issues between our children’s school schedules, my office schedule, Shweta’s business schedules and all this overlapping with Sushant’s availability when he was drowning in work. That’s why these short notice trips were made to align with Sushant’s availability.