It's been a year since legendary film actor Irrfan left for heavenly abode, leaving a void in the hearts of all his fans, friends and family members. The actor, who was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, passed away on April 29, 2020, due to colon infection.
Now, Remembering Irrfan, his Hindi Medium and Angrezi Medium co-star Deepak Dobriyal has talked about the performer in the actor and how he wanted equality in everything he did. “He was a rule-breaker when it came to performing. He used to set another level of acting every time he performed a scene. But, he had this magical ability to keep everything zestful and simple around himself whether on sets or during promotions or while interacting with others at a screening or a party. He was very thoughtful. He never used to say anything that he didn’t mean honestly. Simplicity and honesty were his biggest qualities. He never shied away from a hearty laugh.” Deepak said.
Talking about his most vulnerable moment, Deepak said, "Only once I saw him getting weak on Angrezi Medium set. For the remaining 70 days he was fine. We spoke about his main surgery, and I asked if we could get rid of the tumour by any other method which was non-surgical. He said he’s tired of going through the pain again and again. Like a child, he either wanted things to be this way or that way. He never knew how to take the middle path. You can say he was getting irritated with his treatment. He just wanted the tumour to be removed."
Deepak recalled the time when Irrfan just used to appear from nowhere to solve a lingering issue like it was nothing. He explained, “His manager once had a date issue during the post-production of Hindi Medium. Both I and he were required to give an extra date and his manager refused because he had committed somewhere else. So, while she was trying to make the production understand that this doesn’t look possible, I also mentioned that even I didn’t have dates. I can’t switch my commitments. Irrfan bhai came and asked me about my availability. I told him I had this one day available and he immediately moved to his manager and said ‘baat khatm, we’ll shoot when Deepak has a date’. Our jaw dropped. Who does that? Why would a big actor adjust his time schedule for me? But he was great. He cared. He was sensitive. He was expressive.”
Irrfan didn’t reveal the news of his cancer diagnosis to many people. It was through his official tweet that most people got to know about his illness and how he was getting ready to fight. Deepak too remembers the time when he first talked to him about his diagnosis. “He looked positive. He was all set to fight. He said he will be taking the treatment and everything will be fine. He had this strange ability to offer strength to people at the time when it was him who needed all the strength in the world. I was shooting for Laal Kaptan in Rajasthan at that time and all of us went to pray at this small temple for Irrfan bhai the moment we heard. Most of us, his fans, even those who never knew him that well – all were in disbelief when he passed away. We thought he was going to make it. He was a fighter. He believed in medicine. We had all the faith that a man who was so positive about life would live to celebrate life some more. His loss is still unfathomable.”
Deepak said the man believed in equality like no one ever has. “For him, the talent, integrity, and intensity mattered. There was no rule, no formula stopping him if he had a certain vision. He would put his hand on my shoulders at events and just keep talking to the producers about my work. I could only stare at him trying to understand his ways of helping those who he respected and cared for. There can’t be another Irrfan.”
(Source: Indiam.com/Indian Express)