"Exceptional Actor Of Our Times": India Mourns Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan battled a tumour for several months and returned to Mumbai some months ago after being treated in London. He died at Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital where he was being treated for a colon infection.

'Exceptional Actor Of Our Times': India Mourns Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan, one of India's finest actors, was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in March 2018

New Delhi:

As India mourns the death of Irrfan Khan, people from all walks of life paid tribute to the extraordinary actor. Irrfan Khan, who was admitted to Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital with a colon infection, died on Wednesday afternoon. He was 53. The Piku star battled a tumour for several months and returned to Mumbai some months ago after being treated in London.

Irrfan Khan's death is a loss to the world of cinema and theatre, Prime Minister Modi said as he paid tribute to the actor. "Irrfan Khan's demise is a loss to the world of cinema and theatre. He will be remembered for his versatile performances across different mediums. My thoughts are with his family, friends and admirers. May his soul rest in peace," PM Modi tweeted.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted, "Irfan Khan was a versatile actor. Sorry to hear about his demise. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans. Om Shanti."

Describing Irrfan Khan's sheer brilliance as an actor, Union Minister Smriti Irani said he "etched every character in our memories with sheer talent". "How do you mourn his passing away for he breathes in the characters he left behind," she said.

Condoling his death, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Irrfan Khan is "one of the most exceptional actors of our time".

"I'm sorry to hear about the passing of Irrfan Khan. A versatile & talented actor, he was a popular Indian brand ambassador on the global film & TV stage. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family, friends & fans at this time of grief," top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter.

"Saddened beyond measure by the passing of a human being I had never met, but who gladdened my heart and the hearts of millions with his incandescent talent. RIP @irrfank, gone when he had so much more to give," Congress MP Shashi Tharoor wrote on Twitter.

"I am saddened and shocked to know about the untimely demise of one of our country's most versatile actors, #IrrfanKhan. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans. May God give them strength. May his soul rest in peace," Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted.

"Surrounded by his love, his family for whom he most cared about, he left for heaven abode, leaving behind truly a legacy of his own. We all pray and hope that he is at peace," Mr Khan's family said in a statement.

Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad also expressed his grief and recalled a visit by Irrafn Khan to his Patna residence a few years ago.

"Saddening (sic) to hear about the demise of one of the most versatile actors of Indian cinema, Irrfan Khan! Met with Irrfan when he came calling at Patna residence! A multi-faceted man, a great human being! My sincere condolences to his family, friends and fan," Mr Yadav said in his tweet.

As news of his death broke, #IrrfanKhan, #RIPIrfan and other hashtags related to the actor became the top trends on Twitter.

Mr Khan had lost his 95-year-old mother just four days ago, on Saturday morning in Jaipur. According to news agency ANI, the actor, who couldn't travel from Mumbai due to the coronavirus lockdown, paid his last respects to his late mother through a video conferencing session.

Irrfan Khan, one of India's finest actors, was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in March 2018, soon after which he flew to London for treatment. He returned to India in February 2019 to shoot Angrezi Medium and flew back to London after a brief stay. The actor returned to India in September last year after surgery and treatment in London.

The actor's last tweet was on a character from Angrezi Medium, his last film. "Mr. Champak's state of mind: Love from the inside, making sure to show it outside!" he had tweeted on April 12.