Insiders choose to remain Inside



The current period shall forever be remembered as a black hole in the Bollywood universe. April 29 left the fans of Irrfan Khan shocked and upset by his untimely yet (sadly) foreseeable demise. April 30 left half the country in pain and sorrow when it lost one of its most loved stars, Rishi Kapoor. While the country was complete shambles owing to the worsening COVID situation, June 14 brought with it another shattering news. This time about a young and promising performer Sushant Singh Rajput.

Another life turning into a story, another “trend” floating across social media, another round of RIPs and remembrance notes. But there is one change this time. The public reaction in this instance is a mix of anguish, melancholy, frustration, bitterness, curiosity.

It won’t be incorrect to say he’s one of the very few celebrities who acquired remarkable number of fans after he was gone. And why not, for the humble person he was (as we learn from sources), the exceptional conversationalist, pool of knowledge, the philanthropist and of course for the devoted actor he was, says a lot about this sudden fan following. Sometimes I feel why the world has to wait for a person to go this far in order to acknowledge his goodness.

Probably his worth wasn’t marketed so well while he was still around. Probably he was living in a world of bees that reward you with honey at the cost of being stung again and again. Probably he was not happy enough in his personal life or someone else was not happy with him being around. Probably he was not strong enough and succumbed to life’s pressures.

For now, these are all beliefs and we have no right to reach unsubstantiated conclusions. But it is also true that an untimely, unnatural departure always raises eyebrows, more so when it’s a celebrity, and with so many probabilities hanging in the air, people are confused. They want answers from dependable sources. Hence, too much noise demanding CBI probe, justice for Sushant and what not.

But the burning question here is – why is it that only “outsiders” are seeking answers. Ever since Bollywood lost this gem, all we outsiders come across are essays and speeches on mental health, positivity, reaching out. What we rarely see are Whys and Hows. What we fail to find are black screens and coexistence messages. Despite lobbying claims, what we do not see are demands for acting against tyrants.

Whether personal or professional, suicide or homicide, favouritism or role misfit; whatever the real story was, aren’t they interested in knowing? It’s uncanny, rather implausible that if a unrelated case of George Floyd or a dead elephant could draw such sincere attention and concern, and flood the internet with demands for justice, investigation and umpteen number of black screen protests, why not a person who was still a member of their fraternity. Was he? Or he really kept trying to be one and never made it more than a cusp.

Or do they already know something that people like you and me do not know. Are they shying away from a possible controversy or covering each other’s back? Or they really do not care and just use social media as another forum to display their acting skills, in fact, better than they do on-screen.

Whatever the case, all we can infer from the state of affairs is that Bollywood is just like any other industry that has its own share of malpractices, loopholes and survival mechanisms. It’s high time we stop worshipping Bollywood.


The Spiral Notepad – by Deeksha