Every death brings grief momentarily, but this death was different. It also brought with it an end to a stream of creativity with the uniqueness of Irrfan. Every great artist strives for the realization of his creative possibilities and is passionate about his unique identity. It was true for Irrfan Khan as well. His death was sudden and at young age. It puts him in the same category as scores of other greats both in terms of untimely death and unraveled creativity.
Kaifi Azmi has rightly said for these situations
Rehne ko sada dahr mein aata nahin koi
Tum jaise gae aise jata nahin koi ;
From the annals of the National School of Drama to the Hollywood, the journey has been exemplary. Cinema greats have written much about his struggle, unshakable confidence, and his hunger to learn. He once said he wanted to entertain with substance. It is purely because of performers like him that sometimes supporting actors outshine others in the film. Feral Magnetism of his eyes spoke louder than words. In his entire career, the movie which did well or the ones not doing as well had his performance written all over. Right from his days in TV to English Medium, everyone appreciated the versatility of his acting. His perseverance ultimately worked for him. Simultaneously his learning also went along well. It later helped him in becoming an acting institute in himself. His acting was beyond comparison. He did everything from intense drama to comedy and all with utmost conviction.
Most films have a meaningful message which is utmost necessary to deliver. It was always well communicated. This can be appreciated by his performance in Billu Barber(2009). Most of his performances single-handedly generated the desire among art enthusiasts to be a part of it. The best example is Pan Singh Tomar(2012). His performance in Life in Metro(2007) struck a different chord altogether and resonated with an essential component of one’s behavior. His performance in Chocolate (2005) provides the pivot around which story moved seamlessly. A famous Bollywood celebrity rightly stated that his acting skills lifted everyone to new levels of consciousness, which is impossible for words to explain.
It is difficult to ascertain the loss associated with the death of an artist as great as Irrfan Khan. It is almost like an acting manual lost. The void created will be difficult to fill. Recognition provides stability and value to life. This value, in terms of loss, is deeply felt after death. Untimely death of an artist means infinite creative possibilities left unexplored. It still does not take anything away from great work already done and creativity gifted to humanity. One can be reasonably sure that his grave in Versova would be a must visit destination for art pilgrims.
Nadeem Khan is a writer based in Toronto