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Remembering Sushant Singh Rajput: Bollywood Actor's Passion For Engineering, Space and Science

Sushant Singh Rajput with his Meade telescope. Screengrab from YouTube/Asian Paints.

Sushant Singh Rajput with his Meade telescope. Screengrab from YouTube/Asian Paints.

Singh's academic brilliance has been well-documented. The actor, who dropped out just 2 semesters before graduating to pursue a career in acting, had reportedly secured All India Rank of 7 in Delhi College of Engineering Entrance Examination back in 2003.

A year after Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise, what has stayed back with fans is his legacy. In the weeks after the actor’s demise, the mournful moments was turned into a celebration for Singh’s fascination with science, maths, and beyond. The actor wanted to be an astronaut and loved gazing at the Jupiter moons, Saturn rings and even the Andromeda Galaxy through his “time-travelling" telescope. Singh was also learning to code to propel his dream in computer gaming. Aware of the actor’s hunger for equations, his fans dug up an old photograph of Singh donning a t-shirt that was a further indication of his prowess in the engineering background. Some even remarked that the t-shirt was a reflection of high IQ that the actor possessed. The equation printed on Singh’s t-shirt is a classic and long-running mathematical joke among the mechanical engineering community.

The text simply read: “Don’t be a d3s / dt3 or don’t be a jerk."

Constant jerk in kinematics (branch of mechanics describing the motion of objects) and calculus is the rate of change of acceleration with time.

j = da / dt

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This makes “jerk" the first derivative of acceleration, the second derivative of velocity, and the third derivative of displacement, as noted by The Physics Hypertextbook.

j = da / dt = d2v / dt2 = d3s / dt3

Singh’s academic brilliance has been well-documented. The actor, who dropped out just 2 semesters before graduating to pursue a career in acting, had reportedly secured All India Rank of 7 in Delhi College of Engineering Entrance Examination back in 2003.

As for his interest in astrophysics, his social media accounts are a testament. Sushant often shared pictures of celestial objects on social media touching on his love and interest for the mysteries of outer space.

Sushant Singh Rajput wished to reach for the stars. On the big screen, Singh’s career was studded with memorable performances in Kai Po Che!, Shuddh Desi Romance, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Chhichhore. Off-screen, Singh “time-travelled" through his Meade telescope which he used to visit the Saturn rings, Jupiter moons, and on the days of clear skies, even the Andromeda Galaxy.

Remembering Singh, actor Manoj Bajpayee had said, “What I automatically recall about Sushant is his how much interested he had about everything in life. He was always curious to learn about everything — the unknown, space, about quantum physics, about acting, about filmmaking."

This was very well documented across his social media and Mumbai residence. In an interview with Asian Paints dated 2018, Singh took his fans on a tour of his apartment. His walls were complete with the iconic moon landing photograph, phases of the moon, space missions. The actor even got himself a uniform made during his visit to NASA. Caricatures of space shuttles decked on his table.

In August, Mallika Singh, niece of Sushant Singh Rajput, opened up on how the late Bollywood actor loved astronomy. Mallika shared a post on her Instagram Stories page where she revealed how her “Gulshan mama" had once expressed his desire to join astronomy classes along with her.

In July, when the Central government announced several new reforms under the New Education Policy on Wednesday, a clip of Sushant Singh Rajput’s video went viral where he is stressing on the need to have coding in the school curriculum.

“65% of the students who are going to kindergarten this year will do jobs in technology that we haven’t invented yet," he says in an old interview adding that in a situation like this, even schools are clueless as to what to teach to students. Sushant says that coding will have to be included in the curriculum as this is going to be the language that we will need in the next few years.

He also says that in the global education structure, the focus is being laid on emotional efficiency and how to deal with unknown situations. “Initially the change was constant, but now the rate of change is changing. And in situation when we don’t know what to do, emotional stability is needed," he adds.

In the months after his death, Rajput’s family set up a foundation in his name to support young talent in “areas close to his heart" such as cinema, science and sports. It will be called Sushant Singh Rajput Foundation (SSRF). The family also announced its decision to turn the late actor’s childhood home in Patna’s Rajiv Nagar area into a memorial for his fans.

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first published:June 14, 2021, 09:04 IST