3 Years of Kedarnath: Revisiting Sushant Singh Rajput in the Abhishek Kapoor directorial Kedarnath – Bollywood Hungama

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1. In Kedarnath, Sushant played a pithoo whose mother loved Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘Lag Jaa Gale Se’ (Woh Kaun Thi) and she would sing that timeless number to her son. Sushant even sang the immortal melody in his own voice. Sushant admitted the reference to his mother and to that beloved song by Lata Mangeshkar had echoes from his own life. “I love to hear and sing the melodies from the golden era, specially Lataji. When I got to sing her song ‘Lag Jaa Gale Se’ in Kedarnath I was over the moon. It was a dream come true. And now I play the guitar. Being on the strings is the biggest bliss of my life,” said Sushant. He began to learning the guitar for a proposed film Takadum to be directed by Homi Adjania. It was to feature Sushant as a musician, and Irrfan Khan. Both are gone now. Sushant confessed he liked nothing better than playing the guitar. “I’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar. Now for Takadum, I got a chance to do so. It’s like a blessing from the Gods to be able to learn a new skill.” Sushant got himself a guitar guru to teach him the strings. But the method actor who prepared for every character he played, a skill that his contemporaries know nothing about, laughed and told me his guitar guru was not happy with Sushant. “He thinks I am learning too fast, that I need to slow down. Apparently, I’ve picked up the seven basic chords in record time. My teacher keeps calling to express concern over my speed in learning the guitar. He wants me to slow down.” But Sushant could not put full stops on his urge to imbibe new knowledge. “I’ve always been restless. Even when I was in a relationship I would find time to be doing my own thing. Basically, I am a loner. I enjoy my company more than anyone else’s. But I am consumed by one passion at a time. Right now it’s the guitar. Even now as I talk to you I am looking longingly at the new love of my life.” Now the guitar gently weeps in some corner of Sushant’s home.
3 Years of Kedarnath: Revisiting Sushant Singh Rajput in the Abhishek Kapoor directorial Kedarnath
2. Kedarnath was banned in Uttarakhand where it was shot! Director Abhishek Kapoor whose new film Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui releases this week was very upset. “How can they do this? When the Government has cleared it, the whole country is watching it, how can they stop my film? Uttarakhand is an integral part of the country. What happens to my freedom of expression? I am very happy with the laws of the country. And I am most willing to work within the parameters of the law. But those parameters should be made workable. However, all said and done, I gave my all to Kedarnath. I completely believed in it and I gave all of myself to the film. The feeling of satisfaction after you are consumed by a truthful creative process is almost like a pilgrimage in itself. I feel cleansed after making Kedarnath.
3. One could see the intensely passionate vibes between the two protagonists. Debutante, Sara Ali Khan gave her ‘veteran’ co-star Sushant Singh Rajput a run for his money. Besides three words in their names, Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara shared another important trait. They were very competitive.
4. The love story unfolded in the midst of a pilgrimage. No Hindi film equated spiritual and romantic love so vividly before this. Love is perceived as a religion in Kedarnath.
5. Sara Ali Khan became a star after the release of Kedarnath. She was intensely involved in the process of creating the character of a Hindu girl on a teerth yatra who falls for the Muslim chap who ferries her across the mountain. The peak is reached in unexpected ways.
6. Sushant always loved to get into the method-actor mould. He actually learnt to carry pilgrims as a pithoo before playing one in Kedarnath. After the back-breaking task, his back was ready to give up. His determination was not affected, though.
7. This is not the first time Sushant played a Muslim in love with a Hindu girl. In his rather memorable guest appearance in Raj Kumar Hirani’s PK, he played a Pakistani who falls in love with an Indian girl.
8. Director Abhishek Kapoor had earlier worked certain magic with Sushant in Kai Po Che, the film with which Sushant made his successful transition from television to the cinema. Thereafter they fell out. Kapoor did the ambitious Fitoor with Aditya Roy Kapur. It flopped. In Kedarnath, the director was back with Sushant and there was magic in the air once again.
9. No other recent mainstream Hindi film was shot in Kedarnath. Ironically the priests of Kedarnath were up in arms against the film when in fact Abhishek Kapoor has paid the most handsome homage to the spirit of the teerth dham.
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