Towards the end of our shoot, Irrfan told me that he had changed deeply as a person. He had his fair share of pain but had redefined it as another sensation in his mind. It wasn’t pleasant he said, but it was different. It just wasn’t pain anymore. He didn’t want fame or stardom anymore either, but when he said “Yaar Homi, mujhe acting se bahut mohabbat hai”, he wasn’t acting, I could feel his words. It’s difficult to think about cinema without thinking about Irrfan and the craft he loved so much gave him so much joy. I think his audiences somehow felt this same joy.
‘We laughed, cried and had a healthy dialogue regarding death’
There was never any filter between us. There was no pussy-footing around the reality of what he and his beautiful family were facing. Everything was emotionally passionate and so real. We laughed, cried and had such incredible discussions which often revealed so many insights for both of us. As different as we may have been as people, we had strong similarities in the way we objectively looked at life, the joys we experienced from being in touch with nature and we also shared a very positive and healthy dialogue regarding death. I am eternally grateful for walking a few steps of his journey with him and for us being able to fill those steps with so much laughter and joy in such little time.
‘He showed me a lighter way of being’
It’s only natural that certain (aspects of his personality) would influence — his immense love and childlike curiosity for nature, his inherent passion for his craft without giving himself unnecessary importance, and his ability to laugh in the most adverse of situations. He showed me a lighter way of being and this I will always treasure.
‘Irrfan told me he wouldn’t change anything in his life’s journey’
Irrfan told me that if he could go back in time and change something, anything, in his life’s journey, he wouldn’t change a thing. He laughed at the human predicament of identifying ourselves through labels given by others — ‘Irrfan Khan the cross-over success’, ‘Irrfan the Superstar’ or just ‘Irrfan Khan’ the name. He had managed to access his truth, he had started looking at himself from within and said that in a hundred lifetimes he wouldn’t have achieved this realisation had he not had this experience.
‘His instinct for acting was extraordinary’
He’d read about and discussed various processes, always knowing that he would never have one. He constantly strove to learn, but eventually relied on his instinct and believe me, Irrfan Khan’s instinct for acting was beyond anyone’s understanding. Simply put, his instinct was as extraordinary as the person I knew him to be.