• Instead of tearing each other down, we need to lift each other more
As a potential homeowner, I have recently taken to browsing interior décor shows online for inspiration. This, of course, includes videos of celebrities who appear on design shows to show off their professionally designed homes.
A couple of weeks ago, as I mindlessly perused Maria Sharapova’s Japan-inspired home, a random suggestion popped up on the recommendation panel on my screen. A home décor video of an Indian actor.
As a regular Bollywood enthusiast, I am familiar with most actors in Indian cinema as well as those on the small screen. Sushant Singh Rajput was one of those actors whom I acquainted myself with after his success on the internationally renowned Zee TV show Pavitra Rishta (Sacred Ties). He quit the show midway to pursue big-screen acting. I followed his career sporadically.
For some reason, I decided to watch his home décor video. Seeing his home became a wake-up call to my research. The styling of his house was unique to anything I had seen before.
His retro styled Mumbai home was an extension of his personality as it exhibited his passion for astrophysics, reading and film. The interior of his home was an uncharacteristic harmony of antique mismatched furniture, odd bits and bobs of things he liked: a telescope, pictures of him at NASA and plenty of books. There was no throw pillow in sight, no designer painting, no expensive furnishings.
From his video, I was inspired to stop looking for inspiration from overdone celebrity homes and look within for my own style. I understood that a home does not have to be luxurious or appealing to others, it just has to be an extension of your personality.
Last Sunday, it was reported that Rajput had committed suicide in the very home that had become my muse. The news shook me to the core. It is not because I'm an avid aficionado of Rajput. Rather, I had come to admire him for his stance in being true to himself in public as well as in private.
Although Rajput worked hard to break into the highly competitive Bollywood industry without any ties to the industry, it seems as though he was the subject of unjust treatment in Bollywood. He was known for speaking candidly on the issue of nepotism in Bollywood.
He acknowledged the discrimination that actors like him, who have no industry connections, face. The rumour mill is abuzz now with how badly Rajput was treated in Bollywood, despite his films gaining international and commercial success.
Upon investigating further, I found out Rajput had shared 50 dreams he would like to accomplish, among them learning to fly and even visiting the large hadron collider, CERN. He was a man living life to the fullest.
His death was not just a shock but also a wake-up call to the kinds of systematic oppressions that exist in society. Hard working members of society are treated unfairly because of unmitigated factors, such as class, race and ethnicity. It is important to be mindful of how we treat others in society.
In light of the recent dialogues happening with the Black Lives Matter movement, I believe the world cannot be a homogenous place. Diversity is what makes the world beautiful.
Sushant Rajput lived his dreams as much as he could, but that does not mean he did not have his troubles. His death also highlights the impacts of depression: people might have the best jobs in the world and even live in their dream homes, but that does not mean they are immune from suffering.
Instead of tearing each other down, we need to lift each other more. Instead of criticising others, we need to learn to compliment more. We need to reach out to people we care about more. The world is as beautiful and just as we choose to make it.