ANINDITA ACHARYA, Kolkata: It’s just been a few days that Bengali actress Parno Mittra had watched Irrfan Khan’s last work Angrezi Medium on OTT platform and the last scene of the film will forever stay with her, especially the actor’s expressions. Parno is one of the few lucky actors who had the fortune of working with this class apart actor. Irrfan was fighting a rare cancer and left for heavenly abode today, leaving behind a legacy of his own.
Most of his co-actors know Irrfan as a humble person, a man of few words, but with tremendous potential, who could hold audiences glued to their seats with his performances. And Parno saw him, up, close and personal on the set of Doob: No Bed Of Roses, a Bangladeshi film, where Irrfan played the leading role. Parno played Nitu in the film. Doob: No Bed for Roses became Bangladesh’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards but it was not nominated.
“Irrfan was a chilled out man, and he had no qualms about anything. He was literally a maatir mansh,” remembered Parno.
They were shooting in a beautiful location outside Dhaka, recalled Parno. And though every actor had their own designated room, Irrfan would lie on the grass and stare at the sky. At that time, the actor was superfit, said Parno.
“He was a quiet guy, and fun-loving. We met two days before the shooting to get acquainted. And I had to lose a lot of weight for the character. Then, when he met me he asked me to put on weight,” reminiscenced the actress.
Parno remembered Irrfan had shown interest in acquiring the rights of Anjan Dutt’s Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona. “He liked the film and then I told him, I played Ranjana,” she said.
Given Dhaka has a lot of traffic, Irrfan preferred having jambo raw peanuts all through the journey and he shared them with the entire cast and crew. “He also loved playing cricket during the shooting,” said Parno.
The actress remembered how he had met the Life of Pi actor at an after-party of an award function in Kolkata in 2008-2009. “It was like a fangirl moment for me. And there he was with Anurag Kashyap and I blurted out that it’s my dream to work with him. And he said it would happen some day. It did in 2017 when I worked in Doob. On the set of the film, I used to correct his Bengali as he used to forget his words,” said Parno, who absolutely loved Irrfan in Paan Singh Tomar and The Namesake.
— P (@parnomittra) April 29, 2020