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What is the mental cost of being an outsider in Bollywood?

Posted June 19th, 2020, 09:41 AM IST

What is the mental cost of being an outsider in Bollywood?

The death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput on Sunday has pushed several Bollywood bigwigs to come forward and talk about the actor’s deteriorated mental health, limited success and being boycotted by major production houses so that he could only do TV and web shows. Industry ‘outsiders’ have come forward to share their sink-or-swim stories.

Filmmaker Abhinav Singh Kashyap, who worked with Salman and Arbaaz Khan in Dabangg, took to Facebook to reveal that Salman and his family sabotaged his career after Dabangg had released in 2010. In his post, the director reveals that the sustained gaslighting and bullying destroyed his mental health and family bonds.

In his long post, Abhinav wrote how Arbaaz and Sohail Khan tried to control his career by bullying him and how the former sabotaged his second project with several production houses and intimidated the owners of those production houses with dire consequences if they made a film with him.

The director also reveals that after his project was sabotaged, he had to return his signing fee of Rs 7 crore plus interest of Rs 90 lakh. He also pointed out how talent management agencies preyed on unknown actors by introducing them to Bollywood, promising a bright future in the industry.

Raveena hits out at the ‘mean girls gang’

Veteran actress Raveena Tandon pointed to the pressure actors face in the film industry, and how their hard work had the potential to go unnoticed. As if revisiting hurtful memories through her tweets, Raveena mentioned the dirty politics everywhere.

When one speaks the truth, some people tend to call that person a liar, mad and psychotic, she said. “Mean girl-gang of the industry. Camps do exist. Made fun of,bn removed from films by Heroes,their girlfriends,Journo chamchas&their career destroying fake media stories. Sometimes careers are destroyed. U struggle to keep afloat.fight backSome survive Some Dont.#oldwoundsrevisited (sic)” Raveena wrote in her post.

Don’t mock them

Farah Khan Ali, sister of Suzanne Khan, ex-wife of Hrithik Rohan, added to the thought of stars mocking one another. In her tweet, she said, “While all practice Nepotism on a regular basis, what’s morally wrong is to MOCK anyone or make them feel Less than the person they are. Every person rich or poor,Black or White,Muslim or Hindu etc is UNIQUE. Let no one make u feel inferior.”

Sushant’s death has also brought back on the social media circuits some unflattering recordings from talk shows that mocked the actor.

Twitter is especially targeting Bollywood A-listers filmmaker Karan Johar and actress Alia Bhatt. They were quick to send their condolences, but there are video footages of how Sonam and Alia dismissed Sushant as a ‘nobody’ while Karan giggled.

A grief so divided

Later in the evening, Manoj Bajpayee, paid an emotional tribute to the 34-year-old actor along with Shekhar Kapur, who was expected to work with Sushant in Paani.

While Kapur regretted not staying in touch with the actor, he also revealed that the theories around Sushant being arrogant and not easy to work with are rubbish. “Sushant used to worship the set. I don’t know why people are talking about his arrogance,” said the filmmaker.

True friends

There was a whole set of followers who noticed and praised some of Sushant’s other colleagues and friends.

Among the little crowd that showed up at Sushant’s funeral were Kriti Sanon, Shraddha Kapoor, Rajkumar Rao, Rithvik Dhanjani, Mukesh Chhabra and Rhea Chakraborty, celebs he had worked with.

Many fans pointed out how despite a huge number of actors and filmmakers posting paragraphs over paragraphs sharing their grief on their social media pages about Sushant’s death, there was only a handful of actors and filmmakers who made it to his funeral.

Using Shraddha’s picture at the funeral for her post, in which the actress can be seen wearing a white mask, another user wrote, “I feel good to see #ShraddhaKapoor Standing there for #shushantsingrajput ‘s last rites, she was waiting for quite a long time before even anyone arrived. she didn’t believe in posting a Tweet or an Insta Post, but she was there, and it’s all that matters???? (sic).”