Sutapa Sikdar on Irrfan: It’s been a year since Bollywood lost one of its brightest – Irrfan. The pandemic has worsened, health systems seem to be on the verge of collapse, and a thousand others have died in the last year. And yet, on April 29, the country is compelled to mourn a little more in Irrfan’s memory.
The Lunchbox actor passed in 2020 from a colon infection, survived by wife and writer Sutapa Sikdar, and two sons, Babil and Ayan. More about Irrfan here.
Sikdar and Babil, who keep the late actor alive on their social media with frequent reminiscences and photos, have invoked his presence impactfully on his first death anniversary. In a heartfelt note posted to Facebook, Sikdar recounted the couple’s life together, sharing tidbits from their relationship and Irrfan’s last days.
“I wanted you to go with memories you loved …so we sang songs….next day you left for the next station I hope you knew where to get down without me.. The clock had stopped at 11.11 on 29th april for me .…irrfan you had a keen interest in mystery of numbers . .and funny you had three 11’s on your final day,” she wrote.
You were the loner in a crowd. And now a whole crowd has followed you up there: Sutapa Sikdar on Irrfan death anniversary
Sikdar and Irrfan met during their time at the National School of Drama (NSD) in Delhi, both young, both industry aspirants. It was there they fell in love. Giving readers a glimpse into those days, Sikdar writes further on Facebook, “i remember sitting outside NSD late evening ..beautiful girls from kathak kendra floating out ..they were all very well dressed up unlike us we were always in our blue trackpant and sky blue t shirt ..both boys and girls wore the same …and you mispronounced my name and I tried to correct.”
“its been a long journey of correcting each other spanning a life time. fighting arguing laughing evolving together,” she adds.
Babil, Sutapa Sikdar On Irrfan And How His Presence Still Lingers
Babil, meanwhile, who frequently remembers his ‘Baba’ online, wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the late actor, “There is a legacy that has already been concluded by my Baba himself. A full stop. Nobody can ever replace him. Nobody will ever be able to. To the greatest best friend, companion, brother, father, I ever had and ever will have. I love you so much, for the rest of this chaos we are choosing to call life.”
See his post below:
Irrfan’s death last year had sent shockwaves across, not just the Hindi film industry where the actor predominantly worked, the world. He was as recognised for his role in Bollywood productions like English Medium as he was for internationally acclaimed titles like Life of Pi and The Namesake. The actor was recently paid a tribute at the Academy Awards.
In the aftermath of his death, Sikdar posted a profound note on social media, writing, “How can I begin to feel alone when millions are grieving with us at the moment? I want to assure everyone that this is not a loss, it is a gain.” The writer has always maintained that Irrfan’s presence is still strong in her as well as their sons’ lives.
In a recent interview with the Times of India, she said, “He’s like a fragrance. He floats in my house. He’s alive in my house, and anyone coming to my house doesn’t feel he is no more.”
The grief of Irrfan’s loss was surmounted by the successive passing of another industry veteran Rishi Kapoor just a day after. Read about that here.