Mumbai, Jun 14 (PTI) In Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death, his friends and colleagues said they lost a 'happy' and 'talented' co-star, who was a hardworking person with films such as 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story' and 'Chhichhore' to his credit.
Rajput was found hanging at his Bandra home, the police said. He was 34. The news of the demise of the actor, who hailed from Patna, came as a shock to the film fraternity still reeling from the deaths of actors Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor, lyricist Yogesh, director Basu Chatterjee, and music composer Wajid Khan of the duo Sajid-Wajid.
Casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who was close friend of Rajput, appealed for privacy from the media in this hour of 'very personal loss'.
'It’s a very personal loss. Has left me numb and distraught. Will take me time to overcome. Please do not call/message me,' he tweeted.
The actor, whose next screen outing was supposed to be Chhabra's directorial debut 'Dil Bechara', the Hindi adaptation of Hollywood film 'The Fault In Our Stars', said the constant badgering is adding to his stress.
'I cannot talk for a few days. Thank You. Please,' he said.
Nitesh Tiwari, the director of Rajput's last feature film 'Chhichhore', said he had spoken to Rajput recently.
'I had to call people to confirm. It's so shocking and unfortunately true. I am at a loss for words. I spoke to him last week over messages. We would text each other on and off. Now this is what I get to hear. He was like a younger brother to me,' Tiwari told PTI.
Choreographer-turned-director Remo D'Souza said he had talked to the actor and they wanted to work on a dance film together.
'He told me 'sir you know how good a dancer I am and yet you don't take me in your dance films.' I told him that I'm going to make many dance films and we are definitely working together on a dance film in the future,' D'Souza told PTI.
In his days as a TV actor, Rajput had participated in the dance reality show 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa' season 4 in 2010 on which, D'Souza was one of the judges along with Madhuri Dixit Nene and Malaika Arora. The actor was adjudged the first runner-up on the show.
'I told him let our schedules get cleared a bit, the dates get sorted and then we will sit and discuss a film. He was really happy, going like this is such a big shock. I still can't believe this has happened to him,' the director added.
Before turning towards small screen, Rajput was an engineering student in Delhi who left the degree course midway to learn dance from veteran choreographer Shiamak Davar.
Reacting on his mentee's death, Davar said, 'Too numb to even comprehend the news. Shocked and deeply saddened. Sushant was so talented, gone too soon. Strength and prayers to the family.' Producer Ekta Kapoor, whose TV show 'Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil' served as the actor's small screen debut, was heartbroken on hearing the news. Rajput's breakout role also came in the producer's show 'Pavitra Rishta'.
Ekta Kapoor shared the screenshot of their recent chat on Instagram and wrote, “Not fair sushi ! One week everything changed ! Not fair my baby!' Actor Manoj Bajpayee regretted not having cooked Bihari mutton for his 'Sonchiriya' co-star.
'Falling short of words to describe the shock and grief I am in right now!! Just one question why Sushant? My heart goes out to his family who lost their young one! Will wait to cook Bihari mutton for you my friend! Rest in peace! Yours dadda!' Bajpayee tweeted.
Another 'Sonchiriya' co-actor Ranvir Shorey told PTI that he 'will need at least a day to process' Rajput's death.
Rajput made his feature film debut in 2013's 'Kai Po Che!' along with actors Rajkummar Rao and Amit Sadh.
'This is so unfair. Gone too soon. I'll always cherish our conversations on acting and cinema. You’ll be missed bhai. May God give strength to his family and loved ones. Rest in Peace brother,' Rao tweeted.
Sadh apologised to Rajput, saying he did not come to 'your rescue'.
'Will regret all my life for not reaching out! Right now very sad but will cherish the time we shared filming Kai po che... Rest in peace bhai!' the actor wrote on the microblogging site.
Actors Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor, who starred with Rajput in his second Bollywood outing 'Shuddh Desi Romance', remembered their co-star.
'Sush. I will miss you buds,' Chopra tweeted.
Vaani Kapoor said she has missed the chance of working with Rajput, her 'first co-actor', again.
'I remember my first meeting with you and there you were, the first person to smile at me and help me! ... Still in disbelief and shock. 'I have known you as a happy & funny person. I wish I could do something to change this. I am going to miss you. Miss the chance to work with you again. I pray for your soul to find its calm,' she wrote on the microblogging site.
Kiara Advani, his co-star from 'MS Dhoni', said she was 'deeply saddened'.
'My heart goes out to Sushant's family at this time. Reminiscing and cherishing every moment of our Dhoni shoot. Can’t believe this.. gone too too soon,' she said.
Jacqueline Fernandez, Rajput's co-star on the film 'Drive', on Instagram said she will remember the actor as a person who was 'hard working, caring, intelligent and full of passion'. PTI JUR SHD RDS RDS BK BK