Art is immortal and so will be Irfan

Irrfan Khan

Art is eternal and so will be our beloved and talented actor Irfan Khan. It feels heavy in heart to write about the sad demise of the versalite and effortless actor.

Irfan, who started his career way back with a debut in 1988 after achieving training from National School of drama, has always proved his calibre in every performance. He was always meant for big screen and no one can forget his communication and connect with audience, simply with his mesmerizing eyes. He was not an actor who needed special effects, glamour, action scenes, gymnastics, athletic effects, dance moves, nothing. Primarily and significantly, his pure acting talent spoke for him.

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Be it acting in movies, small to major roles or be it an advertisement of Syska, he always left an impact on hearts of millions with his piece of art.

In March 2018, he revealed he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour, but after extensive treatment he recovered well enough to shoot Angrezi Medium, the film which would turn out to be his last, and whose release this March was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic. The movie was then released through Hotstar and friends he has given his phenomenal performance even there.

On 28 April 2020, he had to be admitted to ICU in Kokilaben Hospital with colon infection and he breathed his last today. May god bless the family with courage to bear this irrecoverable loss and whole country is touched and sad to lose this pure talent from our nation. His contribution to the Indian industry as well as Hollywood will always be remembered. Mr. Khan had lost his 95-year-old mother just four days ago, on Saturday morning in Jaipur. According to news agency ANI, the actor, who couldn’t travel from Mumbai due to the coronavirus lockdown, paid his last respects to his late mother through a video conferencing session. Khan is survived by his wife, Sutapa Sikdar, and sons Babil and Ayan.

Going back to his journey, he has many feathers in his cap. Khan’s breakthrough role came from an unlikely source: the feature debut of then-unknown British director Asif Kapadia, whose low budget samurai-esque tale The Warrior was shot in India. Released in 2002, The Warrior was selected for the prestigious San Sebastian film festival and won the Bafta award for best British film. Khan subsequently broke into mainstream Indian films, often playing cops or villains – including the title role of Maqbool, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in the Mumbai underworld. More orthodox Bollywood productions followed, such as Rog and the slice-of-life musical Life in a Metro.

Khan also maintained a parallel career in British-American cinema: he played the chief of police in Michael Winterbottom’s A Mighty Heart, and another police man in Slumdog Millionaire, which won eight Oscars. Later roles saw him become a reliable standby character actor in big-budget Hollywood films, playing a doctor in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 and businessmen in Jurassic World (2015) and Inferno (2016). In 2012 he also played the adult version of the lead character in another Oscar-winner: Life of Pi, directed by Ang Lee.

Meanwhile, Khan found box-office success with the Indian-produced art film The Lunchbox, in which he played an accountant who strikes up a letter-writing romance with unhappy housewife Nimrat Kaur. Khan also continued his high Bollywood profile with significant roles in the Amitabh Bachchan comedy Piku and Hindu Medium, as a rich businessman trying to get his daughter into a good school and not to forget his last Angrezi Medium where he portrayed emotions of a father, who doesn’t kno English and the world outside his locality, but only understands his own emotions as a father, who wants to fulfill every wish of his daughter and wishes to see her smile at any cost.

Hats off to the true legend. Some people are indispensable, irreplaceable and unforgettable and so will be Irfan. 

Paying a tribute to the legend, an actor par excellence, jotting down some famous and meaningful words by Irfan as below:

  • When he first declared his cancer – “I trust, I have surrendered. As if I was tasting life for the first time, the magical side of it”
  • I have never looked to create an image with my face, but to create a space of myself where I don’t depend on the looks
  • The day I become conventional, something inside me will die
  • People like to see my work, not my face

May his soul rest in peace and he will always stay alive in our hearts with his remarkable performances and impact of each character played by him which he has left behind for us.