You're not among us anymore, Sushant. You left the planet; its troubles, occasional joys and everything that exists on it.
We have lost you forever.
However, before going, you did something. You gave us the gift of movies that we can watch every time we forget how it was to see you smiling, moving, crying. In movies, you will always be one of us.
And there is one of them, that's the most special to us: M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story.
As a cricket lover, my heart breaks to even think that the on-screen Mahi is no more.
It's a thought I can't afford to entertain at this moment because these days are long, and my heart is weary.
I do realise, though, that I am feeling this way because you were so believable in the film.
There were moments when I got completely immersed in it. It didn't feel like it wasn't Mahi, but you.
And that, among other things, is an act of courage.
To take up that role, to prepare for it, to make it look as good as you did.
Not to mention that you did a biopic on a cricketer who is still very relevant, still playing. As a matter of fact, when the movie had released, he was even a bigger part of the team. Only you could have taken up a job so difficult.
The helicopter shot.
The days of struggle.
The love real Dhoni never talks about.
Through you, Dhoni showed us himself, and it is a debt that we will never be able to repay.
And you took the responsibility with complete seriousness.
It was visible in the way you captured the nuances.
The fixing of the helmet, the tapping of the bat, the blinking of the eyes.
Truly, you aced the smallest of details. That look in your eyes right before hitting the ball, the expression while watching it go out of the stadium, the stance, the body language.
You studied all of it, and portrayed it with enviable honesty.
That goes for even the non-cricketing bits. For instance, we do not know how Dhoni was as a ticket conductor, but looking at you, we thought 'yes, this is how I imagined him to be'.
I often wonder, how much do we really know Dhoni? Sure, people like me can't imagine our childhoods without him, but there is so much under wraps.
And that makes sense too. Dhoni never reveals what he is thinking.
Keeping that in mind, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is probably the closest we will ever get to know our icon, and we only have you to thank for it.
You would have had a long innings ahead, Sushant; and even though we lost the match today, it was a delight to see you play.
If you or someone you love are suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts or just need someone to talk to remember that help is just a phone call away. Encourage them to reach out to the following helplines in India. BMC mental health helpline: 022-24131212 (available 24X7), Vandrevala Foundation: 186-02662345/180-02333330 (24x7) or AASRA: 91-9820466726 (available 24X7).