Director Homi Adajania has said that Irrfan loved acting and it is difficult to think about cinema without remembering the acclaimed actor who passed away on April 29, 2020, after a two-year battle with cancer. Homi said that Irrfan was only interested in acting and was not interested in fame or stardom.
Talking to a leading daily and remembering Irrfan one year after his death, Homi said, “Towards the end of our shoot, Irrfan told me that he had changed deeply as a person. He had his fair share of pain but had redefined it as another sensation in his mind. It wasn’t pleasant he said, but it was different. It just wasn’t pain anymore. He didn’t want fame or stardom anymore either, but when he said 'Yaar Homi, mujhe acting se bahut mohabbat hai (My friend Homi, I love acting)', he wasn’t acting, I could feel his words. It’s difficult to think about cinema without thinking about Irrfan and the craft he loved so much gave him so much joy. I think his audiences somehow felt this same joy. I am eternally grateful for walking a few steps of his journey with him and for us being able to fill those steps with so much laughter and joy in such little time.”
He further said, “Irrfan told me that if he could go back in time and change something, anything, in his life’s journey, he wouldn’t change a thing. He laughed at the human predicament of identifying ourselves through labels given by others — ‘Irrfan Khan the cross-over success’, ‘Irrfan the Superstar’ or just ‘Irrfan Khan’ the name. He had managed to access his truth, he had started looking at himself from within and said that in a hundred lifetimes he wouldn’t have achieved this realisation had he not had this experience."
Homi directed Irrfan in his last film Angrezi Medium that earned the latter a Filmfare Best Actor Award posthumously. Irrfan’s award was collected by his teary-eyed son Babil I Khan who could not hold back his emotions as he accepted the award on the late actor’s behalf.