Irrfan Khan, journey done

“When my wife died, she got a horizontal burial cot…
I tried to buy a burial cot for myself the other day, and what they offered me was a vertical one…
I’ve spent my whole life standing in trains and buses…
now I’ll even have to stand when I’m dead!”   
– Irrfan Khan (Saajan Fernandes) in The Lunchbox

Being not much of a Hindi movie buff, I had missed seeing The Lunchbox when it was released (though I had seen some of his English films). Watched it on a flight during the past year. Irrfan Khan was already ill and fighting the “unwanted guests” in his body at that time, and this line stayed stuck in my mind.

Was deeply saddened to hear of Irrfan Khan’s passing this morning. 53 is no age to die. Considering the Indian life expectancy, it’s 15 years too soon. Well, life’s a journey with just one certainty. We’re just grateful to have experienced the journey.

different game
– Irrfan Khan, 2018, after diagnosis

“I have surrendered.” He fought the cancer for two years, keeping his characteristic humour and grace. With the pain and trauma that a terminal illness brings with it, it is a merciful release in a way.

irrfan khan
– The Namesake

Irrfan Khan (I wondered why he added the extra ‘r’ in the spelling of his name, refused to believe it was numerology) will never grow old… he will always be young in our minds. The boy-down-the-street natural actor… an oxymoron of sorts. And all his movies will be there for generations to watch… a legacy his family would be proud of.

In these days when Covid-19 is the only item in the news, it is fitting that this versatile actor has diverted our minds and the attention of the media channels as well, albeit by his death. As everyone says, RIP, and see you on the other side.

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