Who is Irrfan Khan?
Irrfan Khan-53 bid farewell to this world with his last line, “Amma (mother) has come to take me.” As he took his last breath, the whole Bollywood and film lovers cried in disbelief.
We best know Irrfan from his excellent performances in movies: The Lunchbox, Paan Singh Tomar, Piku, Jurassic World, Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire, etc. He not only left his mark in Bollywood, but Hollywood praised him for his versatility, also.
Irrfan Khan was someone who proved that language, accent, and looks are not barriers.
The world of art lost its precious gem on Wednesday, 29th April 2020.
Irrfan Khan spent his childhood in Rajasthan, India
Khan came to this world as Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan on 7th January 1967 in Tonk, Rajasthan, India.
Saada Begum Khan and Yaseen Ali Khan ran their tire business in Tonk’s small district in Rajasthan, India.
He had three siblings: Salman Khan, Imran Khan, and Rukhsana Begum.
Irrfan grew to become humble, down-to-earth, kind, and a great human being from a modest family.
Initially, his interest was in playing cricket. Irrfan Khan was an all-rounder. He was even selected to play junior cricket (CK Nayudu Trophy). However, due to unfortunate financial circumstances, he could not cover the expenses to pursue his career in cricket.
Irrfan Khan completed his MA in Jaipur. Later, he moved to New Delhi to study acting and joined the National School of Drama (NSD) in 1984.
He developed an interest in acting, seeing the theatre performances in Jodhpur, where his maternal uncle used to be a theatre artist. His love for acting must have grown during those days. Irrfan even participated in several theatre performances.
Growing up, he loved seeing veteran actor Rajesh Khanna’s works and considered him his inspiration.
Irrfan was a man of value. Humbleness, groundedness, and kindness were his assets. Even during the most challenging days of his life, he never stopped being optimistic.
We can witness these traits of him in the interviews and the movies he chose to work in.
In short, Irrfan Khan never failed to spread positivity and smile.
Irrfan Khan marriage life
Irrfan, who played the character of an intense lover in some of his movies, found love in a dialogue writer. His wife, Sutapa Sikdar, graduated from NSD. The couple met while they were both studying at NSD.
While Irrfan was a Muslim of Pathan ancestry, his wife, Sutapa, belonged to a Hindu-brahmin family.
They tied the knot in February 1995. However, unlike the relationship of many stars, their relationship remained out of the spotlight.
The couple had two sons: Ayaan Khan and Babil Khan.
Sutapa, who walked along Irrfan on his life journey, remembers her life with him as nothing else but happiness. She even tweeted, saying that she did not lose anything but gained in every way possible following her husband’s death.
Irrfan’s journey from an Air Conditioner Repairer to an Outstanding Actor
Recognition and success did not come overnight to Irrfan Khan. His journey from an AC repairman to an Award-winning actor was a long one.
When he first came to Mumbai, he worked as an air conditioner repairman for his survival.
He bagged a small role in Mina Nair’s “Salaam Bombay!” in 1987 after he graduated from NSD. However, his scene never made it to the screen.
Later, he played numerous roles as a TV serial actor in Indian television. Some TV serials that people remember him for are Chanakya, Bharat Ek Khoj, Banegi Apni Baat, Chandrakanta, etc. To emphasize, he spent the 1990s as a television actor.
Nonetheless, in the 90s, he appeared in several films, most of which remained unnoticed.
His career graph started changing in the early 2000s. In 2001, a British filmmaker, Asif Kapadiya, cast him in a lead role in the movie The Warrior.
Similarly, this decade introduced Irrfan as a passionate villain and a hero.
He received awards and praises for his role as a villain in movies like Haasil (2004) and Sainikudu (2006). Irrfan was one of the few actors who could act through their eyes.
Irrfan’s career took flight. In 2007, he did two box-office hits: Life In a Metro and The Namesake.
Besides these, we know him from many other Bollywood films like Jazbaa, The Lunchbox, Hindi Medium, New York, etc.
He is also known for his Hollywood movies in The Amazing Spider-Man, Inferno, Life of Pie, Jurassic World, etc. As much as Bollywood loved him, Hollywood also loved and appreciated him for his work.
The following are some awards he received for his work in the movies:
- Filmfare Awards
- Best Performance in a Negative Role 2004 (Haasil)
- Best Supporting Actor Male 2008 (Life in a Metro)
- (Critics) Best Actor 2013 (Paan Singh Tomar)
- Best Actor 2018 (Hindi Medium)
- Padma Shri (4th Highest Civilian Award in India) 2011
- National Film Awards 2011 (Paan Singh Tomar)
- Asian Film Awards 2014 (The Lunchbox)
Irrfan Khan has an estimated net worth of around USD 50 Million as of 2020. He earned approximately USD 1.5 Million per film.
He was a resident of Oshiwara, Mumbai.
Irrfan Khan always stayed away from controversies
Everyone knew Irrfan Khan as an actor of substance. His eyes could do all the acting. Simplicity spoke through his choice of roles.
Likewise, he was as simple as one could be in real life. Irrfan Khan stayed out of the controversies most of his life, a vegetarian and full of life.
Nevertheless, in July 2016, his statement against the Islamic ritual of sacrificing animals on Eid-Al-Adha caused quite a stir in the Muslim community.
Later, he publicly clarified that his statement was not to hurt any person or tribe.
Talking about his addiction, he was into smoking.
Irrfan’s death is a loss to the cinema
On Wednesday, 29th April 2020, Irrfan Khan departed from this world, leaving everyone in pain. He fought for two and a half year-long battle with cancer.
He was admitted to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on 28th April 2020 in Mumbai. Irrfan was receiving treatment for a colon infection.
Irrfan’s demise is a loss to Bollywood and the whole world of cinema and art. Various Indian and international artists paid tribute to the actor through their sincere tweets.
His body was cremated in Mumbai in the presence of his family, close friends, and relatives.
Irrfan Khan life after cancer diagnosis
Most of the year 2019 and a year before that was unfortunate for Irrfan Khan health-wise. In March 2018, his medical diagnosis resulting in Neuroendocrine Cancer (brain tumor) came to light.
Without giving any time for anticipation, he revealed his medical condition and asked his fans to wish for him through his Twitter post on 16th March 2018.
He moved to London for his treatment after completing preliminary therapy in India.
Even though there was hardly any information surfacing about him between those times, fans and his well-wishers never ceased to wish for him. Later, fortunately enough, Irrfan returned to India looking better and feeling better in April 2019.
He returned as hope and light for all his fans. But, then, the incredible artist took some time for himself and returned to the movies through his latest and the last “Angrezi Medium.“
The film had him play an Indian father, financially in poverty but rich with a daughter aspiring to study in England. The story of the movie revolves around the highs and lows between the father-daughter-duo.
Now that Irrfan Khan is no more, we remember him for all the great movies. But, simplicity, optimism, greatness, humbleness, and hopefulness are what we need to learn from his life.