In a brief career spanning 12 films, Sushant Singh Rajput left a long-lasting mark with memorable performances, a sincere body of work, some effortless charm, and songs that never age. Here, we list some of our favourite songs featuring the late actor, not only to honour his legacy, but to remember him with fondness.
Film: Kai Po Che!
The beautiful song, composed by Amit Trivedi, is all things hopeful. In its essence, it's a celebration of friendship between Ishaan (Rajput), Govi (Rajkumar Rao) and Omi (Amit Sadh). Think of it, and it brings in a sense of calm and content – picturing three friends letting loose, having the time of their lives. They drink, they dance, and even jump off a fort into the sea – but what remains a constant throughout is the carefree mood the song creates, along with their goofy, lingering grins.
Film: Shuddh Desi Romance
What happens when you finally meet a person with whom things finally click? For the otherwise commitment-phobic Raghu and Gayatri (Parineeti Chopra), things seem to fall in a happy rhythm as they start living together. The song, sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and Mohit Chauhan, is playful and chirpy – displaying the bliss and banter of a new relationship that somehow just blends itself into the character's lives without asking them to change.
Sushant had tremendous potential as a romantic hero, and this song cemented it further. Chronicling the start of something new, something special between Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) and Sarfaraz, the song brings in a refreshing innocence to the little moments they share at the beginning of their relationship. Also, just listening to Shaan's voice in the background elevates the mood of the song, instantly bringing cheer and nostalgia.
Film: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy
Those who followed Sushant's career back in his television days, and had seen his tremendous dancing prowess in the celebrity dance show, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, were left pleasantly surprised when director Dibakar Banerjee shot a special song to promote their upcoming film, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy. In the song, Sushant transforms into the titular character – experimenting with a complex mix of freestyle and contemporary, effortlessly. All this, while wearing a dhoti almost throughout!
Film: MS Dhoni: The Untold Story
In what was a career-defining role for Sushant, he, in the song, as Dhoni, presented the struggles the cricketer faced as he tried to juggle academics with his love for cricket. On the one hand, he wanted to follow his passion, and on the other, stood his father's wish of a normal life, a normal education. And so, he is determined to try both. The song captures this drive that pushes him to follow his instincts, and his restlessness to not compromise his future.
Picturized in an urban Bollywoodized setup with fancy locales, the very lovestruck Shiv is traveling away for a banker's conference for a week. Away from his girlfriend for the first time for that long since their relationship started, he finds himself longing for her all the time, seeing her everywhere he goes, feeling her presence all around. Arijit Singh is in top form with the vocals, making the DDLJ-esque song his own. He croons in a way that you feel the character's happiness of finding love, almost as well as his desperation to see her again.
There's something so ethereal about this song. Be it Amit Trivedi's music, Amitabh Bhattacharya's lyrics, Arijit Singh and Nikhita Gandhi's singing, the beautiful snow-clad mountains of Uttarakhand, or the palpable tension between Mansoor and Mukku (Sara Ali Khan), everything blends seamlessly. The song plays the role of the narrator, capturing the tiniest of details as Mansoor's reluctance to fall for an upper-caste Hindu girl blooms into acceptance. His walls slowly break, and no more can he suppress a blush as sharing a cup of tea becomes a silent declaration of affection.
When you get a hearty dance track with meaningful lyrics in today's time, you know it's for keeps. It is a very peppy, ready-for-baaraat track that makes you want to break into a jig or two. Sushant as Mansoor pulls out his dancing shoes and brings out some effectively smooth, and effortlessly desi moves as he finds himself elated at the arrival of his 'Sweetheart' at a wedding celebration he never expected her to attend.
The heavily underrated song, composed by Vishal Bhardwaj, is hauntingly sung by the gloriously talented Rekha Bhardwaj. Meant to be a lullaby for the sick little girl Indumati (Bhumi Pednekar) is trying so hard to save, the song captures the grim situation they find themselves to be in, as they travel on a boat with Lakhna and his group of baghis, hoping to find medical help. Shot amidst a largely empty lake with nothing but jungles in sight, the visuals, coupled with Varun Grover's chilling lyrics, give an ominous feeling… of sorrow, of loss, and of growing uncertainty.
Penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya, the song is like a switch – the moment it plays, it brings with it an inexplicable sense of joy, taking you back to the simpler times of life. It's the ideal song for the memory books, and for whenever you shake off the dust to revisit the old photo albums – just like the 'Losers' did in Chhichhore. The mood of the song is delightfully reminiscent of KK's iconic 'Yaaron Dosti.' And if you are sentimental, don't be surprised if you find yourself digging into your old playlist after hearing this one.
Film: Dil Bechara
This song is memorable for several reasons. It was an AR Rahman track with his signature vocals. It was also the first song starring Sushant that was released posthumously. There was something magnetic about the song. There was, finally, some Bollywood music that made sense that year, with catchy lyrics. And then there was a man, standing with a huge grin on his face, unleashing his charisma with his expressions and a brilliant dance routine. Sushant's easy-going appeal here will leave you with a smile every time you revisit it.
Film: Dil Bechara
This is an extremely soulful rendition by Hriday Gattani and Jonita Gandhi. The lyrics, written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, almost give a feeling that the reel has inexplicably blurred with the real. Once you see its placement in the film, the feeling is only strengthened. It is the final song of the movie – which plays as a tribute to Sushant's character, Manny, after his death. It's almost surreal then, looking at Manny on the big screen, being his filmy self, as the lyrics go, 'Tum Na Hue Mere Toh Kya, Main Tumhara, Main Tumhara, Main Tumhara Raha… Mere Chanda Main Tumhara Sitaara Raha.'