Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and Actor Manoj Bajpayee feel nostalgic as they opened up and share their experiences with Sushant through Instagram live. Both of them have worked with the young actor. While Shekhar Kapur was director of Paani which was the ambitious project for both Sushant and Shekhar whereas Sushant shared the screen with Manoj Bajpayee in Sonchiriya. Both the stars are stunned with the unprecedented death of Sushant Singh Rajput.
When Shekhar and Manoj are drowned in the ocean of memories they shared with Sushant, they feel that people should remember him for his extraordinary performances not ponder around things like why he killed himself or someone who was depressed.
Shekhar revealed his experience of collaborating with Sushant on Paani. After months of preparation, the film was dropped because the producers Yash Raj Films backed out of the project. Shekhar said that when he met Sushant for the first time, it was ‘like meeting a child’.
Sushant was broken into tears when he realized that the film was dropped. He was ambitious about this film and had worked hard for it. Shekhar said, “Jab film bandh ho gayi and he realized he wasn’t doing the film, bohot roya woh. Main bhi roya. Woh rota tha toh main bhi rota tha saath-saath because I was also passionately and deeply involved with it. Humari zindagiyaan hi kuch aisi hoti hai – ups and downs. Aur yeh jo lafz hai – depression… Aisa nahi hai main keh raha hoon ki depression nahi hoti, main aisa keh raha hoon ki depression ek lafz hai jiske saath hum khel lete hai.” (When the film was dropped and he realized he wasn’t doing the film, he cried a lot. I cried too. I would cry every time he cried because I was also passionately and deeply involved with it. Our lives are full of ups and downs. This term – ‘depression’… I am not saying that depression does not exist, I am saying that we play with depression). As creative people, it is an emotion that we play with,” he said.
“Pareshaan toh wohi cheez kar rahi hai, jo maine nahi kiya (I am troubled about the things that I didn’t do),” said Shekhar when Manoj asked him what is troubling him about Sushant’s death “Paani, producers ne kaha, ‘Hum nahi banayenge Sushant ke saath. Paani nahi banegi.’ Kuch aur film koshish karke bana leta, woh nahi kiya. Main bahar chale gaya Hindustan se. Gussa, naraaz ho gaya (The producers said, ‘We will not make Paani with Sushant. Paani will not be made.’ I should have tried to make another film with him, which I didn’t. I left India as I was angry and upset),” he said.
On the other hand, Manoj cannot forget the sight when Sushant touched his feet on the first day of the filming of Sonchiriya. “My mind is not leaving the image of him on the first day, coming to me and suddenly touching my feet. All the perceptions that people were floating about him, that one gesture of his just questioned everything. Not that he touched my feet…it just says so many things about his background, where he came from,” he said.
Manoj Bajpayee was able to relate with Sushant as they both have struggled and fought all the odds to make them self recognize in the film industry. According to Manoj Bajpayee, Sushant was always open to suggestions and would like to improvise himself. “Rarely, you see actors feeling so grateful for the small suggestions that you give a co-actor,” he said.