Ayushmann Khurrana says he hadn’t been in touch with Sushant Singh Rajput for past year: ‘Never know what’s behind that smile’
Actor Ayushmann Khurrana hopes that the recent suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput ushers in a renewed debate about mental health, and the ‘callousness’ with which it is treated in India. In a conversation with Time magazine, the actor said that he felt a kinship with Sushant, as they’d both made the move from the television industry to films.
“It is really unfortunate, and I have known him since my TV days,” Ayushmann said. “I think we were one of the few actors who made that shift from television to films in India, which is not easy.”
Ayushmann admitted that he hadn’t spoken to Sushant in the past year, but was ‘shocked’ when he heard the news of his death. Sushant died on Sunday, at the age of 34. He was reportedly suffering from depression.
“You never know what is going on behind that smile, or that social media post,” Ayushmann said, calling for greater attention to be paid to mental health in India. “We don’t take mental health seriously. In India, we are very callous about it. Till the time there is a real, physical disease, they don’t raise an issue about it. They don’t realise that a person could be terminally mentally ill, and just putting up a facade for the outside world.”
“Don’t have much to say. Don’t want to post that smiling selfie with you. So much of potential.. gone too soon. Broken heart #RIPSushant,” Ayushmann had written in a tweet on June 14. Sushant’s last rites were performed at the Vile Parle crematorium on Monday. The actor was known for his acclaimed performances in films such as MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Sonchiriya, Kai Po Che, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, among others.
If you need support or know someone who does, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist. Helplines: Aasra: 022 2754 6669; Sneha India Foundation: +914424640050 and Sanjivini: 011-24311918
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