Sushant Singh Rajput: The Actor With the Mind of an Astrophysicist and the Soul of a Poet

Bollywood

Sushant Singh Rajput: The Actor With the Mind of an Astrophysicist and the Soul of a Poet

Illustration: Arati Gujar

In the nepotistic regime that is Bollywood, very few with no godfathers to lean on have managed to create a niche for themselves solely on their own talent, persistence, and dedication. Sushant Singh Rajput, who died by suicide on June 14, was one such Bollywood actor who managed to shine bright in his short but impressive acting career.

But beyond a television actor who had successfully transitioned to the big screen, Rajput was a man who was deeply moved by the universe and its cosmos. Although he dropped out of the Delhi College of Engineering and gave up a scholarship from Stanford University to pursue films, Rajput’s need to quench his curiosity about the universe never kept him away from learning. This much was evident in the actor’s social media posts. Unlike most celebrities who took to Instagram to share ultra-glam photo shoots, Rajput reserved this space to share his enthusiasm for some select subjects, astrophysics in particular.

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Dark Energy that is responsible for our universe to expand at an accelerating rate forms around 68% of the universe. Dark Matter on the other hand that is responsible for the formation of our ordered galaxies in this chaos of expanse, forms around 27% of the universe. They together are two most famous and mysterious known-Unknowns that we know of. That means, if we take everything from our daily experience, everything that we know about, it’s made of atoms and all of that adds up to only 5 percent of the universe. Our reality is not what actually reality seems to be.✨ #perspectives #waysofseeing #fabricoftheuniverse #darkmatter #darkenergy

A post shared by Sushant Singh Rajput (@sushantsinghrajput) on

And the few people who were close to the star, knew of Rajput’s deep yearning for “finding a meaning in this universe.” In a heartfelt tribute to his friend, astrophysicist and scientist Dr Karan Jani goes beyond the surface as he gave an insight to the Kai Po Che star’s interest and understanding of the science of life.

“His social media bio read – ‘Photon in a double-slit’. He was indeed like that, living a duality,” Dr Jani wrote in his letter talking of the late actor’s life as a celebrity with millions of followers and the lesser known persona that connected with an idea that was larger than life.

Rajput was an avid reader, and made it a point to educate his fans on all the “big [scientific] discoveries.” In Dr Jani’s words it was “a sight that would shatter all your Bollywood celebrity stereotypes.”

According to Jani, Rajput also owned an “advanced telescope” that he took with him during his shoot for Sonchiriya in Chambal.

The bright actor’s fans too echoed the astrophysicist’s thoughts, acknowledging how Rajput truly used his power to influence.

During the 2019 Chandrayaan-2 Moon Mission, Rajput followed its process closely and shared the findings with his followers with much zest and hopefulness.

Before joining the film industry, the actor had cleared 11 engineering entrance exams and boasted an All India Rank of 7 at the Delhi College of Engineering Entrance Examination in 2003.

Sushant Singh Rajput was also a National Olympiad Winner in Physics. In fact, in a now deleted Instagram post, the actor had also shared his “Bucket List of 50 Dreams”, most of which surrounded his interests in space and physics. Visiting The Large Hadron Collider at CERN was a part of his dream amongst many.

While others were busy making Dalgona coffee or posting fitness challenges to social media, Rajput spent a part of his lockdown learning how to code purely out of his love for computer gaming.

Abhishek Kapoor who directed Rajput in Kai Po Che and Kedarnath called him a “huge science buff who was consumed by what lay beyond the universe” in his tribute post. He signed it off with “stay interstellar.”

In an Instagram post, actress Priyanka Chopra bid the actor farewell, stating that she would never forget their “conversations about astrophysics at sunrise.”

To his fans, Rajput’s earnest need to learn was an inspiration.

As John Lennon said, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Rajput seamlessly brought these words to life.

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