Actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death has come as a shock for all of us and even now after 10 days of his demise, we can't fathom the fact that he is not with us. Sushant's death has sent shockwaves throughout the nation and has stared off a vicious blame game on social media. While everyone has been taking sides and calling out camps and nepotism, actor Jitendra Kumar who has paved his way through sheer hard work and struggle has an altogether different story to tell.
Known for his work on the digital world namely, TVF Pitchers, Kota Factory, Panchayat on Amazon Prime Videos, and many more. Jitendra Kumar made his Bollywood debut with Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan opposite Ayuhsmaan Khurrana last year.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India, Jitendra Kumar condoled Sushant Singh Rajput's untimely demise, spoke at length how mental health shouldn't be treated as a stigma and spilled the beans on his struggling days and more.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
On the untimely demise of Sushant Singh Rajput and why mental health shouldn't be considered as a stigma,
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Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself. To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~ E.E. Cummings
What happened with Sushant is very sad and shocking for all of us. He was such a great achiever who passed away. I would just request everyone to give Sushant's family space and power to overcome the loss. Needless to say, Sushant is an example for those actors who come from outside and make a name for themselves in the industry. Having said that, anybody who comes from outside has to create their own body of work and it is not that people won't notice. Hard work has always been and will always be the key to success.
I also firmly state that 'sirf mental health nai', overall health should be taken into consideration. When we hurt our knees or legs, we take care of it, right? Likewise, we should take care of our mental health as well. If we are stressed or have something going inside our mind, we should talk about it and not treat it as a stigma. The issue is we start judging and talk about mental health as a stigma, this impacts the people all the more and they refrain from talking about it. I would urge everyone to talk it out and stop being judgemental. Especially in these unprecedented times, we should take care of our loved ones, closed ones and keep in touch with them.
On how he started his journey and kept his balance during his struggling days,
I never thought that I would be an actor, like every enthusiastic kid, I started participating in professional plays during my IIT that was just about it, making it a full-fledged career was out of my mind. Gradually, I started liking the medium and began to broaden my network. Later, I decided to come to Mumbai and got lucky that I started working as soon as I arrived in Mumbai. I shot for my first video the day I landed in Mumbai. Then TVF came, it started growing and people loved it, they resonated with the characters. I wouldn't say that TVF grew solely because of me, everyone was involved and we all did an equal amount of hard work. In fact, my friends and family helped and supported me emotionally and finically.
On the business and content relatively dependent on the audience,
When I started off with the web, I had a doubt in my mind whether the character and the role will be absorbed by the audience. I am glad that people supported with whatever I did and that's how the content of all my earlier shows became so popular. Seeing love pouring in from fans and critics we as a team got motivated and created more and more content. Audience's support and demand lead to good business. Therefore I always believe that the audience is very powerful, they can make you or break you as well.
For the unversed, Jitendra Kumar is seen playing a lead in 'Chaman Bahaar', which is currently streaming on Netflix.