Ever since his Bollywood debut (Kai Po Che!; 2013), he has risen swiftly, both in terms of popularity and success. But clearly, Sushant Singh Rajput has charted a different course for his career. “I am the sum of all the right and wrong decisions,” says the actor, philosophically, as he turns a year older and talks about life, career and rumours.
Are you a birthday person?
Not at all. I used to be excited about my birthdays for the first few years of my life because, my mother and sisters would have a big celebration. Also, I would be thrilled about cake and gifts, but now it’s [birthday] more about spending time with myself; and appreciating that the earth doesn’t get tired and so, it has completed another circle around the sun.
As you turn a year older, do you look back and feel content with the way life has been till date?
I am the sum of all the right and wrong decisions that I’ve taken in my life; and I am equally proud of both, because, they have together made me who I am.
Has life changed post the success of Dhoni biopic?
The [amount in] pay cheques have changed (laughs). People have started expecting more [from me], but I promise that everything I attempt in the future will be because of the same ‘why’ and that is my passion and excitement.
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Like a dream. I got to work with the film-makers I always wanted to work with and had the kind of experience that I always wanted to have. It could not have been better.
You are famous as well as rich now. After you achieve these ‘important’ things, what gives you happiness?
There is a term in economics called the inflection point (sic), which says that when you have little money, ‘you can buy a lot’ and after the point, ‘a lot can buy you little’. As far as fame is concerned, I have more of it than the people I look up to and would never have as much as people I detest. They [fame and money] don’t make any sense to me. The work itself is so exciting that I could pay to act if things come to that (smiles).
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Of late, several stories about your personal life — vis-à-vis Kriti Sanon — made it to gossip columns. Do they bother you?
No, it makes me feel really excited. I really wish I could be as interesting as their fiction suggests. But as long as they are happy, so am I.
What do birthdays mean to you — time to introspect or looking at the year ahead?
Neither of them. It’s more to do with just the realisation that time is subjective. When you are really young, time flies slowly in anticipation of the youth, but the period of the youth goes by quickly because you’re so excited about it. The introspection time is for the old age when things slow down again.
Do you think the past year was one of the most important years of your career?
I lack the ability to think about the past as well as the future, so I never look at my career from that perspective. If I’m excited — irrespective of the money and commercial success — that feeling of satisfaction is the best.
Recently, you said that you are an actor and not a star. But doesn’t being a star mean that you have won over so many people? For instance, Shah Rukh Khan says that he is a star who can act.
If you tell me ‘I’m a good actor’, I will like it, and if you don’t, I will be disappointed. But if you tell me that ‘I’m a star’, I will take that too [as a compliment] and on the contrary, I don’t miss being called a celestial body (laughs).
Are you at peace with your professional and personal life by now or the search still continues?
Psychological security is not possible. However, if you accept this truth, you could use the same fact to create a beautiful life by valuing all the relationships and achievements.
You have started preparing for your next lot of films. Are you enjoying the madness that comes with the territory?
This is the best phase for my craft as an actor. I’m preparing for Tarun’s (Mansukhani) next and Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan’s Chandamama Door Ke. I am still figuring out my characters (from both the films). This phase is the most alive that I could possibly ever feel.