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Memories of Irrfan Khan

Friday (April 29, 2022) was Irrfan Khan’s second death anniversary. A memoir by one of his directors, Anup Singh, brings alive what really made him the actor and man that he was.

April 30, 2022 / 07:22 PM IST
Actor Irrfan Khan in 'Qissa', directed by Anup Singh. (Photo: Heimat Film)

Actor Irrfan Khan in 'Qissa', directed by Anup Singh. (Photo: Heimat Film)

It’s been exactly two years since a rare neuroendocrine tumour ended the life of Irrfan Khan -  one of the most mesmerising and gifted Indian actors of at least the last three decades.

He worked with Ang Lee and Wes Anderson, with Mira Nair, Danny Boyle and Asif Kapadia, besides many Indian directors from all ends of the cinema-artistry spectrum.

Two of his memorable films, which challenged him in ways that the regular Bollywood roles couldn’t, were with Anup Singh, the director of Qissa (2013), a film described variously (“gender parable”, “displacement meta-text”, “ghost tale”, “unlikely romance”) Irrfan Cover_finaland about a father’s obsession with having a child in the haunting landscape of post-Partition Punjab, and The Song of the Scorpions (2017), a visually enthralling revenge saga set in Rajasthan with Irrfan and Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani.

Singh, based in Geneva, is also a compelling writer of prose, as is evident in his book Irrfan: Dialogues with the Wind, a memoir of a friendship between two men—a director and his actor, a creator and his muse, Anup and Irrfan.