- Irrfan Khan died of cancer on April 29 in Mumbai last year
- He was 53
- "You were the loner in a crowd": Sutapa on Irrfan's death anniversary
On this day, last year, actor Irrfan Khan died of cancer in Mumbai. His death left a void in Indian cinema that can never be filled. On his death anniversary, his wife Sutapa Sikdar revisited a few memories of Irrfan Khan that are close to her heart. Sutapa, in a heart-wrenching post on Facebook, shared that she and her friends sang some of Irrfan Khan's "favourite songs" to him the night before he died. The 53-year-old actor was admitted to Mumbai's Kokilaben Hospital, where he died on April 29 morning. In her post, Sutapa also wrote that "the clock had stopped at 11.11 on April 29" for her.
"'People living deeply have no fear of death'... Anais Nin, your favourite poet, Irrfan. Last year tonight me and my friends sang songs for you, all your favorite songs. The nurses were looking at us strangely as they were used to religious chants in critical times but I had overdone that for you, Irrfan, morning evening and night for two years and since they told me it was time, I wanted you to go with memories you loved... so we sang songs... next day you left for the next station. I hope you knew where to get down without me," she wrote and added: "363 days. 8712 hours...when each second is counted. How exactly does one swim this huge ocean of time. The clock had stopped at 11.11 on April 29 for me... Irrfan, you had a keen interest in mystery of numbers...and funny you had three 11's on your final day. Some say, actually, many say this is a very mystical number 11/11/11. How does one walk ahead the pandemic, just adds to the anxiety, fear and pain."
Sutapa Sikdar added that the days after Irrfan Khan's death were extremely hard for her. "The days went by with umpteen responsibilities, some extremely new ones like signature galore for changing of name. My fingers kept stopping on that how could I just take his name away and make it Sutapa, I was unable to sign. Took a day off and the name game played on my mind. Like a film in a projector."
Along with some emotional memories, Sutapa also shared a few pages from her and Irrfan Khan's NSD days. Irrfan Khan joined the National School Of Drama in 1984 where he met Sutapa Sikdar. The duo got married in 1995 and are parents to two sons - Babil Khan and Ayan Khan.
In her post, Sutapa shared how Irrfan Khan "mispronounced" her name during their initial days in NSD. "I remember sitting outside NSD late evening...beautiful girls from Kathak Kendra floating out ..they were all very well dressed up unlike us... we were always in our blue trackpant and sky blue t-shirt... both boys and girls wore the same... and you mispronounced my name and I tried to correct and rubbed it in as usual my permanent thing that north Indians are so stupid and they only can pronounce Sunny, Vicky, Rahul type names and proceed to Kake ki dukaan in Gol Chakkar to have ek bata do chai... it's been a long journey of correcting each other spanning a life time. Fighting, arguing, laughing, evolving, together. You were the loner in a crowd. And now a whole crowd has followed you up there... by the way OM from the tea stall in the nukkad went some years back. Has he made a chai ka stall up there? Are you having ek bata do chai there? And are drinking water from the running streams?" she wrote.
Sutapa Sikdar signed off her post with these words: "All of you stay in peace, remember us that we loved you, all of you. And remember all of you is missed by some one or the other...all your families grieve...may you all rest in peace! I hope there is enough space I hope some of you will forgive us for not been able to give a respectable cremation. irrfan#NSD#nationbleeding#wearesorry#restinpeace."
Read Sutapa Sikdar's post here.
Irrfan Khan was the star of films like The Namesake, Paan Singh Tomar, Haider, Maqbool, Piku and The Lunchbox.