Sushant Singh Rajput walked straight up to me and said, “I’ll be back in 10 minutes. I hope you are comfortable here.” I nodded. My first meetings with industry stars begin with the silent observation of their mannerisms and the way they interact with staff. And Sushant fit the bill, patting on the back of his manager, giggling through the corridor as he walked out of the room for a bit.
The venue was Delhi’s Siri Fort Stadium where the Super Boxing League (SBL) matches were held in July 2017. I was there to interview Sushant for the first time.
Ten minutes later, the chatter resumed in the room. Sushant had returned. He walked fast, with his entourage literally running behind him to match pace. The actor pulled a chair for me and gestured, “Please!”
We got on with the interview. In the next 20 minutes, we talked about his work, the crossover from TV to films, finding success without any godfather, his fitness mantra, his association with SBL and his dreams.
Sushant Singh Rajput was restless. He fumbled many times as if he had so much to speak and do in so little time. Sushant was one of the stars who looked straight into your eyes while talking. That made conversations with him engaging. He pondered over each question. The actor kept stressing on how he wanted to do something for the society and his love for astronomy.
As our chat drew to a close, I asked, “One last thing, did you also take rounds of Notre Dame Academy (NDA) in Patna like other boys while growing up?” He paused and gave a smile. I went on, “I am from Patna too and went to NDA. I know you’re from St. Karen’s. Our schools were close by.”
“Ah! I get it,” he said. “I know NDA girls are very pretty, but I’ll be honest. When my school bus crossed NDA, it was rather the girls who hit on me!” I raised my brows and said, “Really? Well, I’ll spread this word in the Damian circle. Your fans will be very happy. I hope you know what an immense fan following you have in Patna. You’ve made us proud.” With a shy smile, he said, “Please do! I really want to visit NDA some day.”
It was Sushant Singh Rajput who wrapped up the chat by throwing questions back at me about my Patna home, my school batch etc. “We were in school during the same years,” I said. “You don’t look that old,” he replied. “Isn’t that a good thing?” We both burst out laughing at my last line.
I met him a couple of times again, but they were mostly quick interactions.
Sushant, you’ll be missed.