‘I wish he had spoken up,’ says Apurva Asrani as he opens up on his struggles in the industry

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Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise has brought out the ugliest face of the industry out in open again. We are talking about bullying, nepotism, camp-ism, lobbying that exists in the industry, or to say on which a part of the industry works. A lot of celebs have opened up on their struggles of surviving in the industry. Apurva Asrani, film writer and editor opened up on his struggle and wished that the late television and Hindi film actor would have spoken up about his struggles as well. Also Read – Kamaal R Khan hits out at Hansal Mehta, says, ‘What Hansal or anybody else can snatch from me?’

In a blog written by Apurva Asrani, the writer wrote about his initial days of struggle and the ugly side of the industry. “In my 20’s (I had cut Satya before I turned 19), directors called me to hotels for narrations. Once, as I waited in the lobby for a director, I got a message that the meeting has moved to his room. There the director was alone, in his bath gown, displaying an unsavoury view of his privates. I ran. Then once, I got invited to a journalist’s birthday party, only to discover that besides his boyfriend, I was the only guest invited. Like vultures they circled me, till I beat a hasty retreat.” Also Read – Sushant Singh Rajput suicide: ‘There is no family support, no political support,’ says Shekhar Suman

He thanked Manoj Bajpayee for being his anchor and supporting him throughout his career. “Fortunately, some producers did reach out to me and offered me work. One of them was Zoya Akhtar, who breathed hope into me by giving me Made In Heaven to edit. Also, Manoj Bajpayee, the lead actor of both Satya and Aligarh, stood by me. He publicly endorsed my work on both those seminal films when it mattered the most. Yet the stress was too much, and I woke up one morning to realise that half my face was paralysed. I couldn’t shut one eye, my speech was impaired and I looked like a freak. I learned that I had a nervous condition called Bells Palsy and it came with severe vertigo and vomiting. I was too sick to edit the climax episodes of MIH, and someone replaced me to finish the series. It was a very painful period. I cried myself to sleep on most nights and stopped getting out of the house. I felt humiliated, let down by my ilk, and was absolutely shattered,” he wrote. Also Read – Johnny Lever’s daughter, Jamie, on nepotism: ‘There’s favouritism, but not all star kids are given the privilege’

Apurva also revealed that none reached out to help him saying, “I am not surprised to see that I am being ostracised by many of my industry peers for taking on this fight and naming names. Besides Manoj Bajpayee (thank god for him!), not one industry person has reached out (so far), even privately, to say that they are with me. Soon, someone will try to discredit me with some slander on a portal or a tabloid. But that doesn’t scare me, I’ve seen these games played before.”

Talking about blind items, Apurva questioned everyone why can’t they talk about all those rubbish things written in the stories about Sushant. “I am among the few from the film industry that continues to question why Sushant Singh Rajput was bullied in the period leading to his death. Some of my friends have come to the conclusion that Sushant was depressed, couldn’t handle the stress that came with the movie industry, and therefore took his own life. Firstly, I don’t know how they have diagnosed Sushant’s condition whilst sitting on twitter. How do we know what kind of depression Sushant suffered from? We have no records of his mental health history. What we do have are about 30 blind pieces in the public domain, all that carried some appalling, destructive ideas about him. Why are we so afraid to allow a discussion on this?”

Lastly, he wished Sushant had opened up on his struggles. “Watch Sushant in so many of those film promotion videos, he is pretty much ignored by the fraternity. I wish he had spoken up. But he may have taken the advice of ‘well wishers’ who easily dispense advice like, ‘don’t talk, let your success do the talking’. So the boy marched on.”

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