Irrfan Khan was a kind and happy soul whose “impeccable smile” left people happy, says his neighbour and actor Shreyas Talpade.
Be it in the lift or lobby of their building in Oshiwara in Mumbai, Shreyas and Irrfan would bump into each other sometimes.
“We have been neighbours for the past couple of years. He moved into the building a little before me. I think six or eight months before we moved in,” Shreyas told IANS.
When it came to talking about issues related to the building, Irrfan would be “one little child unaware of what was happening around him”.
“He used to say ‘Arey ye kya hora hai, tum baat karlo. Mujhse nahi hoga’ (what’s happening? You go and talk, I can’t do it). So I was pleasantly surprised to see honesty and sincerity intact in him,” said Shreyas.
He found Irrfan a very caring guy.
“Since the time we moved in, he and Sutapa di would send us vegetables and fruits from their farm. Even as recently as last week, when we told Sutapa didi that we were not finding mangoes due to the lockdown, the same evening Sutapa di and Irrfan bhai sent us a dozen of mangoes,” he said.
Due to their hectic schedules, the two couldn’t frequently meet but whenever they did Shreyas would feel happy.
“There are very few actors who have the energy that can influence and attract you. Irrfan bhai was one of those. You would feel happy after meeting him. You can’t miss that impeccable smile of his. Whenever he would meet someone, he would first greet with a smile then ask ‘Kaha kaise ho, dikhai nai diye (how are you?)
“He was a kind and happy soul. Now I feel we should have spent a little more time together,” said Shreyas.
“He went too soon, this was not the time for him to go. He was supposed to do a lot more films. I was supposed to learn a lot from him,” he added.
The two actors never got a chance to work together.
“There was a time when we were supposed to host an awards night together but he wasn’t in the country. He couldn’t return on time. This will be one unfulfilled wish…I could not work with him,” said Shreyas.
Recalling one of his last conversations with Irrfan, Shreyas said: “He had come back from London after his treatment then he had started shooting for ‘Angrezi Medium’. That was the time I met him. It was brief. I asked him ‘are you okay? ‘ He said ‘God has been kind. I am recovering. It’s been a long fight’.”
It surely was as Irrfan was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in 2018. He had shown signs of recovery.
But earlier this week, he got admitted to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital with a colon infection. Unfortunately, he lost the battle early on Wednesday.