Irrfan Khan- Gone Too Soon

On the 29th of April 2020, Indian cinema lost one of its "Navratnas", Irrfan Khan. Considered to be one of the greatest actors in Bollywood he had also made a successful step into Hollywood with movies like Life of Pi and The Amazing Spider Man. He had a fascinating career of over 30 years which earned him various accolades. Some of these awards include a National Film Award, an Asian Film Award, and four Filmfare Awards. He was also awarded India's fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri in 2011.

Born on January 7, 1966 to a Muslim-Pashtun family in Jaipur, Rajasthan Khan was a skilled cricketer and was also selected for the CK Nayudu Tournament for players under 23 years of age . This would have been his route to first class cricket however he didn’t turn up due to the inadequacy of funds.

During the mid 80's khan moved to Mumbai where he acted in various television series like Chanakya, Jahan Hamara, Banegi Apni Baat etc. He had also acted in a teleplay on Doordarshan called Laal Ghaas Par Neele Ghode where he plays the character by the name Lenin. It was based on a Russian play by Mikhail Shatrov which was translated by Uday Prakash. He also played the role a crazed killer opposite Kay Kay Menon on the series Darr which aired on Star Plus. In 1988 he made his Bollywood debut as cameo appearance in Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay. This was his first step into what would one day be a successful career.  Soon enough in the 1990's Irrfan khan appeared in the critically acclaimed film Ek Doctor ki Maut and also in Such a long Journey (1998). Although the films were critically acclaimed khan was still unnoticed in Indian cinema that was until he played the lead in The Warrior (2001) which was directed by Asif kapadia.

The film was a success both nationally and internationally and it made Irrfan khan a household name. His short film Road to Ladakh received brilliant reviews at International film festivals which was then being turned into a full-length feature film. In 2004 he played the role of Maqbool in Vishal Bharadwaj's adaptation of Macbeth. The film was well received by critics and it showed the potential of Irrfan as an actor.

He appeared in various films where he either played the lead or a supporting role. In 2004 he won the Filmfare Best Villain Award for his role in Haasil. His performance in this movie was praised by viewers everywhere. As the years went by Irrfan's portrayal of skill earned him many nominations and awards. He received the Filmfare for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the movie Metro which was a box office success. Despite his Bollywood success, he continued his television career where he anchored a show called Mano Ya Na Mano.

He was also a part of the 2008 Oscar winning movie Slumdog Millionaire for which he and his cast won’t the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance. One of his best-known films perhaps is Paan Singh Tomar which is a biopic about an Indian athlete turned dacoit. He won the National Film Award for Best Actor for this role. As years went by Irrfan appeared in many well received movies like Talvaar, Jazbaa where he appeared alongside Aishwarya Rai and was a very well received film, Piku where he played the lead alongside Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan. He also played various roles in Hollywood movies like The Amazing Spiderman and Life of Pi. In 2013 he received a BAFTA nomination for his role in The Lunchbox which won the Grand Rail d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. His role in Hindi Medium led him to win an award for Best Actor. The movie was massive success not only in India but also in China. In 2016, he appeared alongside Tom Hanks in Dan Brown’s thriller Inferno.

In March 2018, Irrfan khan was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine tumor. He went to the UK for about a year for treatment and returned in February 2019. On 28th April, 2020 amidst the corona virus outbreak, Irrfan was admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai where he was receiving treatment for colon infection. Sadly, on the following day Irrfan Khan passed away at the age of 53 due to the infection only four days after his mother had passed away in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

-Namira khan
Student of journalism and mass communication in Amity university, Kolkata and is an avid reader and writer, with a passion for art and photography.