According to Naseeruddin Shah: ‘To be able to behold this doomsday machine…’Naseeruddin Shah has spoken about his conversation with Irrfan Khan, who passed away recently. Irrfan had told him, ‘I am observing death approaching me,’ he added.
Prior to Irrfan Khan’s death in April 2020, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah recounted a chat he had with the late actor. Irrfan ‘knew for around two years that it was going to happen,’ according to Naseeruddin in a new interview. Irrfan Khan and Naseeruddin Shah have collaborated on various films, including Maqbool (2003) and 7 Khoon Maaf (2011). After a long fight with cancer, Irrfan died last year at the age of 53.
Naseeruddin Shah spoke on Irrfan Khan’s death in an interview with Indian Express.. “That was a unique thing because Irrfan knew for about two years that it was going to happen. I spoke to him several times over the phone even when he was in the hospital in London. It was amazing and it was a real lesson how he dealt with it. He would say: ‘I am observing death approaching me and how many people get that opportunity? To be able to see this grim reaper coming towards you and you are almost welcoming him’. Of course, it was a terrible loss. But it was not in our hands. It was just your bodily machinery shutting down. You don’t have any control over it.”
He further mentioned, “I don’t think it is healthy to obsess about death. I definitely don’t do that. I have experienced several deaths of my close ones — my family, my parents. Also, some dear friends, particularly the unexpected ones — the way Om [Puri] died, the way Farooq [Shaikh] died — were terrible shocks. But it does no good to obsess over it. I think that death is the most unimportant part of life and ironically also the most unavoidable one as well. I don’t dwell on it at all. I will go when I have to go. As long as I am around I want to be as alert and as alive as possible. I would not like my friends to be lamenting about me when I am gone but celebrating and laughing and talking about the things I did. I would rather they remember me for the life I have lived than talk about how I died.”
Sutapa Sikdar, Irrfan Khan’s wife, recently commented about his dedication in an episode of the docuseries Tarader Shesh Tarpan. She had stated,”People always used to say Irrfan never really acted, I’ve heard this innumerable times from innumerable people. I always wondered if so much hard work goes into ‘not acting’, how much effort would be going into ‘acting’. I have never seen a man in my entire life working so hard, even my son, who is getting ready to walk on his father’s path, asks me what he used to do, and I always tell him that your father used to work 10 times harder than you do.”