I just want to take my time and enjoy the journey. I really like what I do – Sushant Singh
Sushant Singh Rajput was born in Patna, at his ancestral home is in Bihar’s Purnia district. One of his sisters, Mitu Singh, is a state-level cricketer. He was only son among three daughters, very much close to his mother. His mother’s death in 2002left Rajput distressed and it was in the same year that the family moved from Patna to Delhi.
Rajput attended St. Karen’s High School in Patna and Kulachi Hansraj Model School in New Delhi, he had ranked seventh in the DCE Entrance Exam in 2003 and secured admission in the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) class in Delhi College of Engineering. He was also a National Olympiad Winner in Physics. In all, he cleared as many as 11 engineering entrance exams, including that for the Indian School of Mines. After he started participating in theatre and dance, he rarely had time for studies, resulting in several backlogs which ultimately made him leave DCE. He completed only three years of the four-year course before dropping out to pursue an acting career. While a student at Delhi Technological University, Rajput enrolled in Shiamak Davar’s dance classes, it was only later that the idea of making a career in acting came to him, as some of his fellow students in the dance classes happened to be interested in acting and were attending Barry John’s drama classes. Influenced by them, Rajput also joined the acting classes. Here, he found his passion for acting: “I found the experience liberating. I realized that I could communicate with the audience. I knew I wanted to do this forever.”
Within a few months of joining the dance class, Rajput was selected to be a member of Davar’s standard dance troupe. In 2005, he was chosen to be one of the groups of background dancers at the 51st Filmfare Awards. In 2006, he was part of the troupe that went to Australia to perform in the cultural program at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. By this time, he was tired of engineering. He was happy and successful in the dance and drama classes, and decided to do what he was good at. He dropped out of engineering and devoted himself full-time to dancing and acting. To make a break into films, Rajput moved to Mumbai and joined Nadira Babbar’s Ekjute theatre group, which he remained a part of for two and a half years. During this time, he was featured in a TV advertisement for Nestle Munch, which became famous throughout India.
His life started changing, he got his first break in the TV industry. In 2008, the casting team of Balaji Telefilms saw Rajput’s personality and acting talent while he was on stage for one of Ekjute’s plays. They invited him to audition for them and Rajput landed the role of Preet Juneja in Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil. His character was killed quite early in the show, but he was such a popular character with the viewers that he was brought back for the series finale in the form of a spirit, looking on as his family celebrates after going through difficult times.
Sushant in his own words said “I realized the importance of money very early in my life. I knew that if you don’t have it, you’re screwed, but after a point, it stops giving you any high. When it comes to fame, I think I have a lot more of it than some people I look up to, and then there are people who are more famous than me, but I wouldn’t want to be like them. So I don’t think I have much regard for either of these things. If you give them to me, of course I will take them, but I won’t miss them otherwise. I generally spend on pursuing my passions, buying things that I don’t need, but also on providing scholarships to students who deserve them. Very soon, I intend to back scripts that I like, which are in need of financial backing.
I am selective about my work because the idea is not to reach a certain goal, accumulate money or earn a certain reputation — I just want to take my time and enjoy the journey. I really like what I do, and would pay to be in such a position, so I really can’t ask for more if I’m actually being paid to do this. I’m grateful to everyone who hires me. Acting is a delicate job; there are no hard-and-fast rules to go about building a character. Every story and character require a different method and process, which an actor needs to discover along the way. So, one film at a time is an absolute necessity, at least for me.
I want to fail, again and again. I think we are too cautious and careful. We need to make some room for failure, but for the right reasons. I want to try new things every time. That’s my high. When you consistently do that, you might not know how to, and might stumble or fail, but that’s okay. No matter what happens on the Friday of my release, I’m mentally back to this excited, neutral state by Monday. Acting is what I enjoy doing, and not necessarily what I’m supposed to do, so I don’t feel the need to be cautious. The ‘why’ of doing what I do is non-negotiable and will never change. There are no lessons to learn. I’m not here to accumulate money or count the number of hit films under my belt. There are no takeaways.