BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: All knew Irrfan Khan was fighting a tough battle with a rare cancer, neuroendocrine tumour, but still we knew he was The Warrior (the British Indian film he did with director Asif Kapadia). And he did fight till the last moment before he breathed his last on Wednesday at a Mumbai hospital.
A shattered Aparna Sen thought a miracle would happen but it didn’t. She had thought of the prolific actor in the role of Krishna for a film, but he had a brain surgery scheduled. Now that Irrfan is gone, taking to Twitter, Aparna posted, “Irrfan Khan…gone. The world has lost one of the best actors it had ever produced. Nothing more to say. Goodbye Irrfan. May you be at peace wherever you are now. It’s bound to be a better place than this violent, virus ridden planet of ours! My deepest condolences to his family.”
The Bengali film industry mourned the death of Irrfan. At a time when the world is struggling with coronavirus pandemic, this news of Irrfan’s death has hit the Bengali film celebrities like a raw bullet.
Rituparna Sengupta says that though everyone knew he was battling a tough fight, all thought he would fight back. “He has always been a fighter. The world of cinema will never be the same again without him. And he himself didn’t know how big an actor and star he is. I knew him personally and on several occasions we have discussed about work. He has taken Indian cinema to international standards and we could understand that when The Lunchbox was screened at the Cannes and we were there, too, with our films. I have been his fans since the days of Ek Doctor Ki Maut. Irrfan Khan will forever stay in our hearts,” says the actress.
Abir Chatterjee says Irrfan was one of the few Indian actors who had inspired him to enter the film industry. “He was a fighter and will always remain one,” he said.
Parambrata Chatterjee couldn’t just let the believe the news. “I can’t take it , I refuse to take it… yes we knew about his illness, but wanted to believe it’ll never come to this! At least not so soon… this will take time, and more, to heal. #RIPIrrfanKhan,” he tweeted.
Gautam Ghosh had the desire to work with Irrfan on Kamal Kumar Majumdar’s story, but then the producer passed away and the project never took off. However, Ghosh grieved that an actor of his calibre passed away at such a young age.
Srijit Mukherji had a discussion with Irrfan regarding Hemlock Society‘s Hindi version. And Irrfan had shown a lot of interest in doing Ananda Kar’s character but as a Punjabi in the Hindi version. And of course, Srijit likes Maqbool, The Namesake but he also loved his performance in Karwaan, which had a tussle between life and death.
Prosenjit Chatterjee had watched Irrfan’s last released film Angrezi Medium few days ago and as usual he was amused by his performance.
#IrrfanKhan my friend it’s too early for you. You were,you are and will be one of the finest actor in Indian Cinema. In this difficult time also the last movie I watched was your Angrezi Medium.And again I was amused by seeing your performance.Stay well my friend wherever you are
— Prosenjit Chatterjee (@prosenjitbumba) April 29, 2020
For Robibar filmmaker Atanu Ghosh, Irrfan and some others started a new era in contemporary Indian film acting, which was followed and reinforced by a whole lot of actors. “Their craft, rooted in intense realism and effortless flexibility, changed the nature of Indian cinema to a large extent towards truthfulness and conviction. In fact, this trend had a deep impression even in regional Indian cinema and motivated the new breed of actors, particularly in Malayalam and Marathi films… I trust many directors would have no option but to shelve the projects for which they had Irrfan in their mind. He was so brilliantly distinctive and so ingeniously gifted. You could hardly take your eyes off the screen when he was there in it,” he posted on Facebook.
Dev was shocked and thanked the actor for all his films. “Nothing to say…just want to Thanku for all ur work …wherever u r TAKE REST,” he tweeted.
Anupam Roy, who had composed the music of Piku where Irrfan played the character of Rana Chaudhury and shot extensively in Kolkata with Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone, remembers him as a humble and chilled out person. “Whenever I met him, I always found him to be a very down-to-earth person,” he said.
Mimi Chakraborty wrote it’s an irreplaceable loss.
Can’t believe what m seeing everywhre you were nd will always be irreplaceable huge loss as an actor i cannot see u anymore #IrrfanKhan.Far away from everything may your soul rest in peace.
— Mimssi (@mimichakraborty) April 29, 2020
Shocked to hear the demise of Legendary & exceptional Actor Irrfan Khan. Life is so unpredictable at times. My deepest condolences to the family & fans. #IrrfanKhan #PrayersAndDuas 🙏 pic.twitter.com/tnbmKOaGTl
— Nusrat (@nusratchirps) April 29, 2020
For actress Sudiptaa Chakraborty, Irrfan was a distant teacher and she was his ‘Ekalavya’ Taking to Facebook, she wrote, “I just wish it was not true!!!! You can’t leave like that ….. You have been a distant teacher Mr Irrfan Khan…. I’ve been your Ekalavya. I can’t believe you lost the fight finally.
We’ll remember your fight sir… We’ll remember you in every possible way we can…. I’m still in a state of shock!!! May your soul rest in peace Irrfan.”
Then for Pratim D Gupta, it’s a personal loss. The Love Aaj Kaal Porshu director has known Irrfan since the days he has been a cub journalist. “We have been in touch for the last 15 years. In different stages of life. From him a struggling actor to one of the most sought after international thespians to me a cub journalist to a film critic to a director. He used to call me out of nowhere, discuss a film and hang up. Despite the acclaim he always wanted to lead an extremely simple life. “Hollywood nahin hoga re mujhse, roz how are you, how do you do nahin kar sakta.” He loved his wife and kids so much, I’m feeling so devastated for them. This is such a personal loss. Irrfan bhai, matha kharab ho raha hai, waapas aa jao,” Pratim posted on Facebook.