Irfaan Khan was one of my favourite actors. “Life in a Metro” was the first movie where I saw him for the first time. Irfan has a small role of a man too keen to get married. His talent was matched by Konkona Sen Sharma. The film had a bevy of stars but Irfan was the only actor there. Subtle and expressive!
From then onwards, I started looking for his movies. Since crime is not my favourite genere, I did not watch movies like Maqbool.
Irfan Khan was described by Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian as “a distinguished and charismatic star in Hindi and English-language movies whose hardworking career was an enormously valuable bridge between South Asian and Hollywood cinema”.
Filmy Career and Journey :
He started his film career with a small role in 1988 film, “Salaam Bombay”. Those were his struggling days. During these tough times, he got the central role in British film, “The Warrior”. This film was in Hindi and was much appreciated. Actually, this was the movie which helped Irfaan to showcase the wide spectrum of his talent. After this, he had the quantum leap in his career and got main roles in the dramas like Haasil (2003) and Maqbool (2004). He went on to gain critical acclaim for his roles in The “Namesake” (2006) , “Life in a… Metro” (2007), and Paan Singh Tomar (2011). He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his role in “Namesake”. He won the National Film Award for Best Actor for Pan Singh Tomar. Further success came from his roles in “The Lunchbox” (2013), “Piku” (2015), and “Talvar” (2015). He had supporting roles in the Hollywood films The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Life of Pi (2012), Jurassic World (2015), and Inferno (2016). His other notable roles were in Slumdog Millionaire (2008), New York (2009), Haider (2014), and Gunday (2014) and the television series In Treatment (2010). The comedy-drama Hindi Medium (2017) and its sequel Angrezi Medium (2020) were two of his highest grossing films. These two performances won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in 2018 and 2021.
Coming from a small town Tonk in Rajasthan and making a name and space in Bollywood without any connection speaks volumes about his talent.
Some of his films which I have seen were – Life in a Metro……, Piku, Hindi Medium, English Medium, Karwan, Qarib Qarib Single, Haider, Slumdog Millionair, Life of Pi and last but not the least – Jazbaa.
My most favourite Irfan movie is Jazbaa. How he had matched with Aishwarya’s glamourous looks was beyond comprehension. I liked these two simple movies “Karwan” and “Qarib Qarib Single” too only because one can have more of Irfaan in these movies. He was good in every genere.
A master craftsman, he spoke more with his silence and eyes. I am a fan of his subtle acting.He was married to Sutapa Sikdar, his NSD classmate and a writer. Today, I just happened to come across a chitchat with Sutapa about Irfan. In reply to one of the questions she said – “Everybody tells me that time is a great healer and time is going by and you know that it’s not healing”. She mentioned that she is a positive person otherwise but his absence is making her helpless. The lonliness is very strong, she said. They both were not very social and hence did not have many friends. They were two people unit. As irfan was working a lot and hence was away for long periods, but when he is at home, it was all about him. It is very difficult to figure out a life without him. Every thing she mentioned about Irfan points out that he was a great human being too.Sutapa said that- Religion for him was spirituality. He had read Upnishads, Ramakrishna Paramhans, Vivekanand , Osho, Mahaveer etc. He believed in being true to self. He was not a practicing Muslim. He could not fast but wanted to. Once he said, I will fast once a week and will fast on Mondays, the day of Shivji. Though he was very busy in the last two decades with his work, he was quiet a hands-on father.
His family has not yet come to the terms with his absence and yet to accept his being not there. My heartfelt sympathies to his family and wish God gives them strength to bear this loss. This is the hard fact that who is left behind and is alive has to live. May his family find peace and find strength from the good time spent with him.
In a small life of 53 years, he has created a great body of work and there is enough to remember him for years to come. the best tribute to this great actor by his family and friends is to remember and enjoy his work and memories.
Irfaan you live in our memories through your films and in our heart for being a good human being!
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Photos are from Google.