Daryaa bhi mein,
Darakht bhi mein…
Jhelum bhi mein, Chinaar bhi mein
Dair bhi hoon, haram bhi hoon
Shia bhi hoon, Sunni bhi hoon, main hoon Pandit…
Main tha, main hoon aur main hi rahoonga
Main hoon Roohdaar.’
April 29 was a rather gloomy night. Right after Sahoor, I finished my chores and then went to my room to get some sleep. I got in bed and set an alarm for the next day. It was then that I got a text message that actor Irrfan Khan was no more. I didn’t pay much heed to it, as I was fully convinced that it was fake news. Therefore, I closed my eyes to get some rest.
Somehow, my unconscious got the better of me. I started thinking what if the news is true, and if I don’t confirm it right now I might not be able to get any sleep at all. So, I took out my phone again to confirm the authenticity of this very sad news. I confirmed it from different social media platforms, and I couldn’t believe it. For someone who has something to say all the time, I was at a loss for words. I felt tears streaming down my face as I lay on my bed, completely speechless, staring into the void. I had never felt anything like this in my life before, and I didn’t know how to process it.
Irrfan Khan was no ordinary actor, he was an inspiration to all writers, filmmakers, and actors out there like myself.
I still remember when I watched Irrfan Khan’s movie Lunchbox in 2015. That movie changed my perspective as a filmmaker. His performance in that movie will be cherished for ages to come. The ingenuity he brought to that character makes one wonder. He redefined the world of cinema for me.
Irrfan Khan laid the foundation for character actors and he is the reason why these actors get the praise they deserve today. According to Sanjay Mishra, there was a time when character actors were only considered as a sidekick to shiny heroes. But Irrfan Khan proved through his constant outstanding performances and perseverance that you don’t need to have a six-pack and perfect hair to be a great actor. Whether it was the character of Sajan Fernandez in Lunchbox, or an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Macbeth, or a character of Ashok from The Namaske; Irrfan Khan did justice to each and every character he performed throughout his life. Through his consistent hard work and determination, Irrfan Khan proved that you can make any ordinary story special if you decide to give it your all. To give it your best.
Some Indian journalists and actors believe that Irrfan Khan was an actor who had no beef with any fellow celebrity. This one line from the teaser of Angrezi Medium “Wait For Me” is constantly playing in my head. There’s a quote in Life of Pi that says: “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”
But Irrfan, we didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to you, nor did we anticipate any of this…
In the end, I just want to thank you Irrfan Khan. I’m eternally grateful to the contributions you’ve made in the world of cinema and all the masterpieces you have left us with. This is my open letter to thank you and tell you that your work shall live with us forever. You surely were a great entertainer, and I hope you’ll keep Baray Miyyan entertained up there as well. Gone, but never forgotten!