‘When death strikes, it’s not about the darkness. It’s about those indelible marks that are left behind’.
I really believed that he will fight this out and come back to do what he does best, acting. But somewhere, it was written otherwise. It’s a tragic loss to the world of Cinema, and we have lost brilliance and versatility in the same breath.
But, I have some fond memories of Irrfan Khan as an actor, as someone who gave us something new to cherish every time he dazzled on screen.
His ascending fortunes from a television star to the big screen giant was a leap that was inevitable at some point in his career. His nonchalance, his ability to pull off uncanny roles and his penchant for scripts with a soul were so distinctive of his personality and his films were a testimony to his impeccable on screen characters.
If he was gorgeously disturbed and menacing in ‘Maqbool’, he was painfully convincing in ‘Paan Singh Tomar’. His earlier stints in films like ‘Salaam Bombay’ was a teaser for what was coming ahead of us. He proved how equally subtle and submissive he can be in Mira Nair’s ‘Namesake’, and he refused ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ as he felt that the film challenged his ideologies on religion. That, speaks of a man who was so convinced and resolute about what he was doing.
Films like ‘Piku’, ‘Blackmail’, ‘Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’, ‘Karwaan’ and ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ were meant to be his sidekicks, but he created his own territory in these commercial ventures, which is a tribute for someone whose genre is not mainstream. Yet, he was deceptively and unknowingly so mainstream that we never realised his impact on us as an actor. In ‘Haider’, he was hardly around but his scenes are some of the most revered ones in an iconic film. ‘Lunchbox’ was another gem in his fabulous body of work. His roles in Hollywood films were not very substantial but he did make his presence felt in the international arena with films like ‘Life of Pi’, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Not to forget, Asif Kapadia’s ‘The Warrior’, which catapulted him to fame and recognition early in his career.
Irrfan, I am not your greatest advocate. In fact, I don’t exist at all for you, in your life. But, why do I feel that today I have lost someone who, somewhere, at some point of time, in many ways, has touched my life and you belong to those moments in my life.
We have lost a genuine actor today, and I will miss your kind of Cinema. I am sure, I will.