Splainer

Monday, June 15 2020


Dive In

We have noted that the House of Representatives of Nepal has passed a constitution amendment Bill for changing the map of Nepal to include parts of Indian territory. We have already made our position clear on this matter. This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable.

That’s the spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry responding to Nepal’s unexpected act of “cartographic aggression.” The Lower House of its Parliament unanimously passed a bill to approve a new map of the country. The problem: it includes three regions—Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura—that are claimed and controlled by India. Illustration: Parth Savla

the big story

The death of Sushant Singh Rajput

The TLDR: The 34-year old actor appears to have died by suicide. The tragic event sparked a heated, often angry—but timely—conversation about mental illness. 

 

What happened?

Wait, can we start by talking about Rajput’s life instead.

 

Of course…

He was a Patna boy who wanted to be an astronaut, and later a pilot. As a teenager, he had a ‘Top Gun’ poster on his wall—which he angrily tore up the day his parents insisted on an engineering degree from the Delhi School of Technology instead. In fact, Rajput was a ridiculously bright science nerd, winning the National Olympiad in Physics.

 

He would finally rebel in the final year of college—dropping out to move into a tiny flat in Mumbai. Rajput landed his first big role—after playing a backup dancer in ‘Dhoom 2’—in the TV serial ‘Pavitra Rishta’. His big break: ‘Kai Po Che’ in 2013. And his most memorable role: ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story.’ For more, read The Hindu’s emotional tribute to his movie career.

 

Our favourite slice of Rajput’s life: is narrated in his own endearing words

 

“While preparing for engineering entrance exams, I’d sometimes take a break and stand in front of the mirror and lip-sync to Suraj Hua Maddham. I used to do these things but not with the ambition of becoming an actor. It was just for fun. Honestly, even if I would’ve been offered a role back then, I would’ve refused because I was a complete introvert. 

 

The lip-syncing and posing would happen only in front of the mirror, with just me in the audience. I wanted to be the head boy in my school but, when I had to give a speech, I didn’t go to school that day. I didn’t want any attention. Of course, we all need some kind of acknowledgement, but I was getting that with my grades. I had just two or three close friends but that was it. Life was perfect! Or so I thought.”

 

That’s lovely and sad…

Yes, and also a reminder that Rajput is not just a headline or a dead movie star—but a human being who lived and laughed.

 

Do we know why…?

 

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In today’s edition

  • The virus returns to China
  • Kiwi sports fans have a blast
  • The great parotta, paratha, barota debate
  • Taapsee Pannu’s tribute to the ‘Pravasi’
  • So you’re dying for a luxury getaway
  • A Sri Lankan treasure
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