Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s journey from Delhi Technical University to Hindi movies was nothing in need of inspiring. A leap of religion, the actor gave up his diploma and a scholarship at Stanford to come back and wrestle in Mumbai.
This self-confessed nerd, in an interview to Hindustan Times Brunch, had recounted his story. Remembering how he would lip sync to Shah Rukh Khan’s Sooraj Hua Madham I entrance of the mirror, he stated, “Honestly, even if I would’ve been offered a role back then, I would’ve refused because I was a complete introvert. The lip-syncing and posing would happen only in front of the mirror, with just me in the audience. I wanted to be the head boy in my school but, when I had to give a speech, I didn’t go to school that day. I didn’t want any attention.”
He refused to name the time spent earlier than his Bollywood debut ‘struggle’. “Many would call the years before I hit Bollywood the struggling period but not me. I was not struggling. I was already doing what I loved. Then, I felt the need to meet a girl, and that led me to Shiamak Davar’s group. My life went into a spin from that point on. Instead of heading to Stanford University from where I had a scholarship offer, I dropped out of college and landed in Versova, in a 1RK (room kitchen) that I shared with six others. You can imagine the reaction at home.”
He dropped out of engineering school too. “It was 2006, my final year in college, when I dropped this bomb at home. They were shocked! So shocked that they couldn’t say anything and I took their silence as their approval…. It was hard at that time but now it’s different. My dad loves it when, on his walks, people call out to him, show him some recent clipping of me… he is really proud of me. But even today, almost all our conversations end with “beta, degree le leta.”
(This copy first appeared in HT Brunch in October 2019)