Tigmanshu Dhulia: Irrfan Khan would fly kites as we readied his shot
Irrfan Khan has played different roles in my life sometimes he was a pal, other times, an elder brother.
Irrfan's passing is a huge loss for the entire film fraternity, but I have lost a dear friend today. We were destined to be friends. I was 19 when I first met him at the National School of Drama, where I was a few years junior to him. Since then, Irrfan has played different roles in my life — sometimes he was a pal, other times, an elder brother. There were times when he would push me to work harder, like a mentor.
Not many know that he was a part of my first directorial venture in Mumbai — a show called Hum Bambai Nahin Jayenge for Business India TV (BITV). Shekhar Kapur was the creative head of the channel, and asked me to direct the show. I reached out to Irrfan, who had come to Mumbai four years before me, and that was the beginning [of our professional collaboration]. We worked on several serials for Star Bestsellers, and finally collaborated on Haasil (2003).
He was a gentle human being who was so evolved in his ideas. He was an outdoor guy who expressed concern for the environment. In fact, he used to love flying kites. Whenever we needed time to prepare for a shot, we used to hand him a kite. He would happily indulge in it till we were ready. He was a charming, happy-go-lucky guy.
Over the last few months, we could not speak regularly because he had stopped using his cell phone. So, I would keep in touch with his wife Sutapa. I visited him at the hospital on Tuesday. He was unconscious but breathing; it was heart-wrenching to see him like that. Right now, I am numb; it will take time to process his loss. I will miss a friend with whom I could have any discussion without the fear of being judged. I will miss hearing his insightful views and taking his advice on matters.
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