By Poornima Bajwa Sharma
He became an actor by chance, but he would have never thought, that he would rule so many hearts with his acting talent. Irrfan Khan, who breathed his last at Mumbai’s Kokilaben Hospital on Wednesday morning as he succumbed to a colon infection, has left a deep void that can never be filled, in the industry. A National Award winner and Padma Shri holder, Irrfan proved his acting mettle not just in Hindi but International cinema too.
Not many know but Irrfan hails from a royal family. His father was late Jagirdar Khan from village Khajuria and his mother late Begum Khan belonged to the Tonk Hakim family.
In his last interview, Irrfan shared how he wanted to live for his family and sons. “I lived this time for my loved ones. The best part of it was that I spent a lot of time with my sons. I saw him growing up. This is a very important time for Teenage. Just like I have a younger son, the elder one is no longer teenage,” said Irrfan.
Talking about his wife, he added, “What can I say about her? She stood for me 24 hours seven days. She took care of me and helped me a lot. If I get a chance to live, I would like to live for her.”
Irrfan, who had been battling the cancer for last few years, in one of films said, “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go.” While it is hard for all of his fans to accept that the man with such great craft is no more with us, here are few examples of his excellent work that will always keep him alive in our hearts.
The film marks the return of Irrfan after he completed his treatment for cancer in the US was released in March this year. However, it had to go off cinemas due to COVID-19 spread. The movie where Irrfan played the role of a dotted father who dreams of fulfilling his daughter’s wishes was then released on Disney+Hotstar. Irrfan won hearts yet again with his acting prowess and the film will always remain close to our hearts as the actor’s last film before he bid goodbye to this world.
The Prequel to Angrezi Medium, the film was another feather to Irrfan’s cap who showed his coming timing this time. The film was a box office success and was loved for the script, direction and Irrfan’s acting. It was this film, after which the actor had to travel to the US as he discovered he was suffering from cancer.
Irrfan Khan, who had made a name in the international cinema too with his work, starred in this big budget American action mystery thriller, where he acted opposite biggies like Tom Hanks, Ben Foster, Omar Sy and more. He played a crucial part in the film that was a sequel to 2006 The Da Vinci Code.
Piku will always be remembered as one of the best film’s of Irrfan’s career where he played an impatient yet resourceful businessman who takes charge of dropping a daughter-father duo, who is obsessed with his bowel movement, to Kolkata from Delhi, by road. The film that traces the road journey was filled with numerous emotional and light-hearted moments that it made audience teary-eyed and joyful at the same time.
Haider, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, saw Irrfan playing a key role, as he essayed the role of Roohdaar, who reminded Shahid Kapoor’s titular character to avenge the death of his father. Despite Shahid, Tabu and Shraddha Kapoor in the star cast, Irrfan got some of the best lines in the film and made a mark in the film.
Written and directed by Ritesh Batra, the film is one of Irrfan’s highest grossing films. The film that also starred Nimrat Kaur told the story of how lonely people can be in metros.The film was screened at International Critics’ Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and later won the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award also known as Grand Rail d’Or. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The Lunchbox was nominated for the Best Film Not in the English Language category of the British Academy Film Awards 2015.
The Tigmanshu Dhulia film bagged Irrfan the national award for best actor category. Playing the role of a dacoit, Irrfan proved to his fans and critics his acting mettle yet again. The actor did full justice as he played a dedicated and passionate athlete turning into an angry man who feels betrayed by the system as well as society.
The adventure drama based on Yann Martel’s 2001 novel of the same name, was directed by Ang Lee and saw Irrfan playing the key role of Pi (adult part). The film had its worldwide premiere as the opening film of the 51st New York Film Festival. It was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards which included the Best Picture – Drama and the Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. At the 85th Academy Awards it had eleven nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and won four (the most for the show) including Best Director for Ang Lee.
The Academy Award winning film saw Irrfan playing the role of a police inspector, a key character in the film’s storyline. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 2009 and won eight—the most for any 2008 film—including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It won seven BAFTA Awards including Best Film, five Critics’ Choice Awards and four Golden Globes.After its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, it was later screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the London Film Festival.
It was rare when actors made the audience fall in love with him playing a devlish character. But, Irrfan did so with this Vishal Bhardwaj film where he played the titular role of Miyan Maqbool, styled on Shakespeare’s Macbeth.The film was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2004.