Malayalam actor Fahadh Faasil, mourning the sudden demise of actor Irrfan Khan, has written a heartfelt tribute to the versatile star on his Facebook page. In a long statement, Fahadh said he owes his career to him and how he regrets not having met and shook hands with him.
Irrfan Khan, aged 53, breathed his last on Wednesday in a hospital in Mumbai due to endocrine tumour. The actor had revealed his diagnosis two years ago.
Recalling how he was introduced to Irrfan Khan’s work for the first time, Fahadh shared an incident from his college days. “I used to live on campus and had no access to Indian films then. So my friend Nikunj and I used to drive to a Pakistani grocery close to our campus to rent Indian DVDs over the weekend. On one of our visits, Khalid Bhai, the store owner, recommended a film called Yuh Hota Toh Kya Hota. The first thing I noticed was that the film was directed by Nasseruddin Shah. I decided to grab the DVD for the weekend show. That night, a few minutes into the film, when the character Salim Rajabali came on screen, I turned to Nikunj and asked, ‘Who is this guy?’ I mean there are actors who are intense, who are stylish and who are charming. In all honesty, this was the first time I ever saw an actor who was ORIGINAL on screen. And his name was IRRFAN KHAN,” Fahadh wrote.
He further recalled how the Indian community in America was excited for Irrfan when he was announced as the actor playing the character Ashoke from in The Namesake.
“I may have been late to notice him but it was just a matter of time for the world to discover the talent he was. Irrfan Khan’s growth was like a popular song. Everyone was singing it and feeling it. I kept watching his films. I used to get carried away so much that most of the time I lost narratives of the films. Or it was more like I didn’t care about the narrative as long as he was performing. He made acting look so easy and I was fooled. Amidst discovering Irrfan Khan, I decided to drop out of engineering school and return to India. TO ACT IN FILMS,” Fahadh added.
Fahadh said one of his biggest regrets in life will be not meeting and shaking hands with Irrfan, even when he was shooting in Kochi for Karwaan, which also starred Fahadh’s good friend Dulquer Salmaan.
“I have been acting or trying to for the last 10 years. I have never met Irrfan Khan. For that matter, I haven’t even seen him. But I was fortunate enough to have collaborated with actors and filmmakers who have worked with him. The first thing I spoke to Mr. Vishal Bharadwaj when I met him was about Maqbool. Even when my dear friend Dulquer was shooting in our home town I couldn’t meet him as I was going through a hectic schedule myself. I had no reason to believe why I had to rush. Today, I regret not shaking hands with him. I should have just gone to Bombay and met him,” he said.
Finally, Fahadh said he feels sorry for the writers and filmmakers saddened by his departure.
“The country has lost an impeccable artist. I can only imagine the loss for family and friends. We just didn’t have enough for him. Today, when my wife barged into the room and broke the news to me, I will be lying if I say I was shocked, because I continued what I was doing. The entire day went by today and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I feel obliged to him. I feel like I owe my career to him. I don’t think I would have come this far if I hadn’t picked up that DVD and watched an actor who changed my life. Thank you, sir.”
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