If We Could Meet Sidharth Shukla Once…

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The heaven is in tears, exclaimed a television anchor as rains lashed Oshiwara crematorium while family members of actor Sidharth Shukla cremated him. A few reporters amid a sea of fans tried to give a glimpse of all those who attended the 40-year-old actor’s last rites.

While his Bigg Boss colleagues Asim Riaz, Arti Singh, Rashami Desai and Nikki Tamboli managed to enter the crematorium, hundreds of fans jostled to see their favourite actor one last time. A man in the crowd told a news channel that he had come from Vasai and had been waiting for three hours.

A woman said that she has been running around since the news of Shukla’s death broke. “I had visited Cooper hospital and now I’ve been standing outside the crematorium since morning to see him once,” she said.

While the camera panned towards the crowd, a reporter expressed concern if the assembled fans could become “super spreaders” amid Covid-19. But people gathered outside Oshiwara crematorium stood there undeterred as rains hit them. The 40-year-old’s death has left India devastated.

Who Can be Considered Healthy?

As fans are unable to accept the reality, the remaining population of the country are appalled to know that a young, fit person could die of heart attack.

Most news channels have been holding discussion on stress and emerging health issues among the younger population.

Singer Anup Jalota said that physical fitness is not everything, it’s a synergy of mind, body and soul. He added that youngsters today focus on a well-built body, while overall lifestyle is equally important.

Actor Mukesh Tyagi said that he started searching about reasons for heart attack.

ALSO READ: Sidharth Shukla Was ‘Fit’, But 50 Per Cent Indian Men Who Suffer Heart Attacks Are Under 50

In 2019, Shukla was dubbed as the ‘angry, young man’ of the Bigg Boss house. Some wondered if anger could trigger health issues.

UK-based British House Foundation in a publication wrote that researchers found a person’s risk of a heart attack increased nearly fivefold (by 4.74 times), and the risk of stroke increased more than threefold (by 3.62 times) in the two hours immediately after feeling angry.

TV actor and BJP leader Gajendra Chauhan, however, said, “Sidharth’s behaviour was ‘behtareen’ (excellent). He was never that angry man you saw on television.” He added that the industry hadn’t got over Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and another shocking incident has occurred.

‘SidNaaz Forever’

Shukla, who rose to popularity after 2008 television drama ‘Balika Vadhu’, found a new fanbase in 2019 when he entered Bigg Boss house. The viewers had a meltdown every time Shukla fought and patched up with Punjabi actor Shehnaaz Gill.

The fans soon named their bond ‘SidNaaz’ and this relationship found an entire new section of admirers, who wanted more of Shukla and Gill, leading to them working together in hit songs such as ‘Shona Shona’ and ‘Bhula Dunga’. Online platform of Colors channel, ‘Voot’, also came out with a movie on their relationship ‘Silsila Sidnaaz Ka-A Modern Fairytale’.

Since the news of Shukla’s death was revealed, fans have been thinking about Gill – wondering how she would be. On Friday afternoon, pictures of an inconsolable Gill froze on television screens, breaking hearts of ‘SidNaaz’ fans.

Rahul Mahajan, son of former Union minister, said that Gill has gone “completely pale”, and fans couldn’t agree more.

Mumma’s Boy Sidharth Shukla

Before the world knew ‘SidNaaz’, Shukla’s love for his mother was often seen on the screens. The late actor was closest to his mother and described her as his ‘best friend’.

We saw a shattered Shukla in the Bigg Boss house when he received his mother’s letter. He later shared, “I didn’t speak to her for months. I know it doesn’t sound too cool to say it at 39 – but being away from her was the toughest part of the show. So, when I received a letter from her on set, I sat and read it in her voice – it felt like she was right next to me and that letter was a piece of her.”

“People know me as a man with a rough exterior. But I’ll always melt for my mom,” he once told ‘Humans of Bombay’.

Shocked by the actor’s death, his Bigg Boss housemate and Bhojpuri star Khesari Lal Yadav said, “I bow to his mother. I can’t even imagine what she may be going through. I’ve met Sidharth baba’s mother when I went for the show’s finale. She’s very sweet. Maa, please don’t worry. We all are there with you. One son may have gone, but there are many more standing with you. I can’t say what God wanted but I am here standing with you.”

Shukla had in February also started a hashtag on Twitter on her birthday.

Shukla had earlier said, “Back when I was a toddler, I’d cry if I had to go a second without her–so even while making rotis, she’d hold me in one hand & the roller in another! As I grew older, she became my best friend.”

As some fans struggled to get a final glimpse of their young star at the Mumbai crematorium, others watching his last rites on television wished for the well-being of Shehnaaz Gill and Shukla’s mother.

“Cant bear to look at the pix flashing all over . just too traumatic . Pray she gets the strength to heal . #ShehnaazGill (sic),” a journalist tweeted.

Actor Mayur Verma tweeted, “I can’t imagine how you feel right now, Your strength is inspiring. Stay Strong #ShehnaazGill.”

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