Irrfan Khan, Magnificent Actor, Dies At 53. Last Rites Take Place In Mumbai
New Delhi: Actor Irrfan Khan's last rites took place in Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon, soon after he died in Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Mr Khan, 53, was being treated for an colon infection and just hours before he died, his spokesperson said he "was still fighting the battle." A statement released by his family said, "Irrfan was buried at the Versova kabrastan in Mumbai at 3 pm this afternoon soon after the news of his passing away was announced. In presence were his family, close relatives and friends. Everyone paid their final respects and mourned the loss of his passing away. We pray for his peace and we hope he's in a better place today. He was strong in his fight, and we all have to be strong too in this loss."
Irrfan Khan's wife Sutapa Sikdar and two sons were photographed exiting the Mumbai hospital in the afternoon; filmmakers Tigmanshu Dhulia, who worked with the actor in Paan Singh Tomar, and Abhinay Deo, who directed Mr Khan in Blackmail, were also spotted.
Mr Khan, one of India's most respected thespians, battled a tumour for several months and returned to Mumbai some months ago after being treated in London. Irrfan Khan is survived by his wife Sutapa and two sons.
In a statement released after the Piku actor's death, his family said that Mr Khan spent his final hours "surrounded by his love, his family for whom he most cared about." Read the complete statement here:
"I trust, I have surrendered"; These were the some of the many words that Irrfan expressed in a heart-felt note he wrote in 2018 opening up about his fight with cancer. And a man of few words and an actor of silent expressions with his deep eyes and his memorable actions on screen. It's saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away. Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him. After having been struck by lightning in 2018 with the news of a rare cancer, he took life soon after as it came and he fought the many battles that came with it. 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. And to resonate and part with his words he had said, "As if I was tasting life for the first time, the magical side of it."
Irrfan Khan's death has left a void in Indian cinema and millions of broken-hearted fans. He was "a rare talent and a brilliant actor," tweeted President Ram Nath Kovind. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Irrfan Khan's death as "a loss to the world of cinema and theatre" in his condolence tweet.
Amitabh Bachchan, who co-starred with Mr Khan in Piku, tweeted, "An incredible talent, a gracious colleague, a prolific contributor to the world of cinema left us too soon, creating a huge vacuum." Shah Rukh Khan, who worked with Irrfan Khan in Billu, described him as "the greatest actor of our times."
Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar, who directed Irrfan Khan in Piku, was the first to tweet: "My dear friend Irrfan. You fought and fought and fought. I will always be proud of you.. we shall meet again.. condolences to Sutapa and Babil.. you too fought, Sutapa you gave everything possible in this fight. Peace and Om shanti. Irfaan Khan salute."
As news of Irrfan Khan's hospitalisation spread on Tuesday evening, the actor's spokesperson released this statement: "Yes, it is true that Irrfan Khan is admitted to ICU at Kokilaben in Mumbai because of a colon infection. We would keep everyone updated. He is under doctor's observation. His strength and courage have helped him battle and fight so far and we are sure with his tremendous willpower and prayers of his well wishers, he will recover soon."
On Wednesday, a fresh statement was released warning against premature reports of Mr Khan's death. "It's really disappointing to know that there are extreme assumptions being made about Irrfan's health. While we are truly appreciative that people are concerned, it's disheartening to see some sources spread extreme rumours and creating panic. Irrfan is a strong person and is still fighting the battle. We really request you to not fall for rumours and not partake in these conversations which are fictional," the actor's spokesperson said.
Irrfan Khan 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.
Irrfan Khan's mother Saeeda Begum died at the age of 95 on Saturday morning in Jaipur. According to news agency ANI, Mr Khan paid his last respects to his late mother through a video conferencing session.
Irrfan Khan was last seen in Angrezi Medium, which released a little over a week before the lockdown was imposed in India. The actor wasn't part of the film's promotions because of his health; he spoke to his fans via a video message ahead of the trailer release of the film. His movie credits include internationally acclaimed offerings such as The Lunchbox and the Hollywood blockbuster Jurassic World.
(Inputs and image from ndtv.com)