Panaji, January 22
Actor Irrfan Khan’s wife, Sutapa Sikdar, on Friday walked down the memory lane as she emotionally remembered the times spent with the late star and said, though he passed away too soon, he lived a fulfilling life.
Khan, one of India’s finest and most versatile actors with acclaimed performances in films such as “Maqbool”, “The Namesake”, “Paan Singh Tomar” and “Hindi Medium”, died in Mumbai in April 2020 at the age of 54.
The actor was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, a rare form of cancer that attacks various parts of the body.
To pay tribute to his legacy, the 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) screened Khan’s “Paan Singh Tomar” here.
The screening was attended by Sikdar and son Babil.
Sikdar said the 2012 film, about an award-winning athlete who is forced to rebel against the system, is an apt homage to Khan.
“IFFI couldn’t have chosen a better film. It talks about a race, an athlete. To quote Irrfan’s dialogue from the film, ‘you have to finish the race. Whether you lose or win. You have to touch the finish line.’ “Irrfan’s finish line came too soon. But he played well. We are proud of you Irrfan,” an emotional Sikdar said, as Babil hugged his mother.
Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, “Paan Singh Tomar” bagged two National Awards, one for best film and the other for best actor, which went to Khan.
At the screening, Sikdar recalled attending the movie gala with Khan when both were students in New Delhi.
Sikdar said the duo would have ‘cutting chai’ and “drown in conversations about cinema” after every film screening.
“That was the beginning. I remember Irrfan having dreams in his eyes. It’s a special moment. It’s an honour and privilege to be appreciated, given a tribute by the same institute- IFFI.” Sikdar said it was a “brave decision” for her to step out—her first public appearance since Khan’s demise—but one that provided her a closure.
“This is the first time I’ve come out of home. I had to, because one needs closures also to walk ahead. IFFI is the closure for me. It’s like being there for what we have done 30 years ago as students.
“I am happy people are here even in today’s exceptional times. It feels nice that we are here together to celebrate a person,” she added.
On January 7, Khan’s family, along with a host of Bollywood celebrities remembered the late star on his 55th birth anniversary. — PTI