In 2007, when I was in college I watched Life in a Metro starring, multiple heroes and heroines. He caught my attention. I have always been very selective in choosing celebrities. I hardly follow any on Social Media. I cannot figure out who is real or fake. Maybe that is the reason my favorite list is very limited.
But he was for real and that is the reason it feels so personal to so many of us. I see the struggle behind the man or woman they become without any support, bashing the nepotism culture which prevails in Bollywood. Besides Shahrukh Khan, Sushmita Sen, and a few more, Irrfan Khan was the one. The man who was hardly considered as a hero with his average looks, weird eyes but there was something too intense about him. Something too raw and too poised.
Due to Colon Infection, he passed away yesterday (29/04/2020). An irreplaceable and one of the biggest losses to the film industry. Leaving us heart-wrenched.
I am a big fan of his performances, his dialogue delivery gets me aww-struck. Whenever he says something on screen it feels like he is talking to you, so casual yet powerful. He had a unique hold on his plot, he knew what he is doing and it came so conveniently to him. I and my husband used to wait for his movies, and simply because it was his movies we went blindly to see so many of them.
In 2011, I had the privilege to see him personally, he was invited for lunch by our common friend’s family. He came along with his wife (Sutapa Sikdar), they both were so down to earth and so casual. He asked me, from where I am, and with a wide grin I said, Jaipur, Jaipur is my native place and in his very famous style he said, patanhge udai hai kabhi aapne vaha.. bohat famous hai, main to har saal jata that pehle, ab time nahi mil pata… That was him. I will always remember his subtility and genuineness.
“ये शहर हम में जितना देता है,… बदले में कही ज्यादा हम से ले लेता है” Remember these lines from Life in Metro? When he asks Konkana Sen to vent out all her suppressed anger and scream at top of her voice, I get goosebumps whenever I watch this scene from the movie:
I also have a confession to make here that when Nawazzudin Siddhique gained fame after doing Gangs of Wasseypur and was compared to the caliber of Irrfan Khan, I always was biased and use to say that no, Irrfan is the best and over the years I realized how beautifully both the actors bloomed from where they were… both had a journey and both had their own ways.
But my personal favorite will always be Irrfan Khan and I am so heart-wrenched while I write this that I will not be able to see any of his movies now, I have watched almost all of his movies, especially the one he started doing in the latter part…The Lunchbox, Qarib Qarib Single, Karwaan, Piku, Hindi Medium, Angrezi Medium to name few…
I don’t want to sound like a crazy fan here, but yes I was his fan and it feels really awful to lose him too soon. May he rest in peace, the greatest of all time, the legendary actor, Irrfan Khan. There will be a void in the Indian Film Industry after him because he is irreplaceable. I hope he is in a better place, free from all the pain and suffering.
Much Love and Gratitude