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We were both nerds who loved food, says Sanjana Sanghi of her bond with Sushant Singh Rajput

The first-time actress looks back at moments spent with the late actor during the making of Mukesh Chhabra's Dil Bechara.

Our Correspondent

Sushant Singh Rajput’s interviews, especially where he has spoken about his various interests, like astrophysics, have been going viral after his death by suicide last month. His interest in so many different subjects helped his Dil Bechara (2020) co-star Sanjana Sanghi bond with him.

“We both nerds had read the script down to its last word and both our copies looked like tattered old novels that had aged over years, with Post-it marks, added notes, the works. I was a bundle of nerves. [Director] Mukesh [Chhabra] asked me to just relax, and we all jumped right in,” the actress, who, like the director, is making her debut with this film, said.

Sushant Singh Rajput (21 January 1986–14 June 2020): A star that shone briefly and was gone

What helped was that she shared a love for food with Rajput as well as Chhabra. “Mukesh, he [Rajput] and I [are] all hopeless foodies," she said. "We ordered a lavish spread. [We] looked at the dining table, yet we three decided to take to the floor, spread our meals on a mat, and started gorging. He [Rajput] mocked me for how much food I can eat, but the food was a huge mutual love for us in addition to academia.”

Rajput had been a brilliant student and so was Sanghi. In fact, she received a gold medal from Delhi university during the shoot and the news was broken to her while they were having food. “This lunch, most oddly, was marked with my father sending me a text saying we got a letter home telling us I had become a gold medallist at Delhi university," she recalled. "Sushant, Mukesh and the whole team were ecstatic to hear this.”

Sanghi later received a note from Rajput, which has now become a prized possession for her. “What followed was champagne (that we never got the chance to open and celebrate with) and the kindest note from him about what the colliding of academia and the world of cinema means to him and the value it holds, which I still have, tucked firmly in my drawer,” said Sanghi. 

Disney+ Hotstar will stream Dil Bechara from 24 July for subscribers as well as non-subscribers as a tribute to the late actor.