Rituraj Singh and Shah Rukh Khan’s debut film ‘In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones’

The Indian film industry recently bade farewell to actor Rituraj Singh, who left the world at age 59. Known for his role in the iconic film ‘In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones’, Rituraj was a cherished member of Delhi’s Theatre Action Group (TAG), sharing the spotlight with none other than Shah Rukh Khan. The two, before their rise to fame, found kinship both on the stage and on the football field, nurturing their acting craft side by side.

In the late hours of Tuesday, Rituraj’s journey came to an end, marking the departure of an actor who once stood at the precipice of cinema’s new wave. Venturing into the performing arts alongside SRK, Rituraj Singh played a significant role in SRK’s debut film ‘In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones’. The 1989 film, conspicuous for its absence from the mainstream theatres, found its home on Doordarshan and eventually evolved into a cult phenomenon.

Crafted by filmmaker-environmentalist Pradip Kishen, and scripted by the Booker Prize laureate Arundhati Roy, the film draws a vivid picture of college life, with anecdotes and characters that mirror Roy’s experiences at Delhi’s School of Planning and Architecture. The story narrative revolves around the protagonists scheming to sway an adversarial thesis panel, featuring Rituraj Singh as Arjun Kamat and Arundhati Roy as his accomplice, Radha.

Not yet the superstar he was destined to become, Shah Rukh Khan, popular for his role in ‘Fauji’, aspired for the part eventually played by Singh. The two-time National Award-winning film saw Rituraj in the spotlight, whilst SRK settled for a supporting character, simply referred to as ‘Senior’. It was a decision rumored to have left SRK with a lingering sense of disappointment towards Arundhati Roy.

The storyline centralizes on Anand, also called Annie, performed by local talent Arjun Raina, who later gained recognition as Kathakali dancer and esteemed teacher at National School of Drama. The picture set in the 1970s, embraced high comedy, translating a robust commentary on the socio-political climate into laughter, earning applause for its authentic depiction of academic life. Alongside a cast featuring the likes of Roshan Seth, Manoj Bajpayee, and Raghubir Yadav, the film unfolded a relatable, gently satirical exploration of young aspirations in the face of bureaucratic inertia.

Having never encountered the grandeur of a cinema hall release, ‘In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones’, nevertheless, has woven itself into the fabric of pop culture history, largely recognized by enthusiasts of Indian parallel cinema.

Offstage, Rituraj Singh’s personal narrative reached its curtains after he succumbed to a heart attack, subsequent to a discharge from hospitalization due to a stomach infection. His untimely departure leaves a void in the hearts of those who admired his work, and those who stood by him in his artistry’s infancy, including his old colleague and friend, Shah Rukh Khan.

The details of Singh’s passing are echoed by sources from a third-party syndicated feed, underscoring the profound sense of loss felt across the industry. While the responsibility for the text lays by the wayside of the original providers, it is the memory and legacy of Rituraj Singh that we now preserve and celebrate.

His was a life dedicated to the craft of acting, a journey shared with Shah Rukh Khan from the very beginning, initiating into a world of cinema that would see them both journeying far from their roots at TAG, touching lives through the powerful medium of film. To Rituraj Singh, a final curtain call, and a legacy that will continue to inspire.

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