‘He was always surrounded by friends who are writers, poets and filmmakers’
Whether real life or reel life, Irrfan bhai would see things in a creative way. His creative thought process would dominate his lifestyle. He would always be surrounded by his good old friends who are writers, poets, filmmakers, and so, the topic of discussion would always be art and literature. Even on sets, whenever he would have free time, he would discuss poetry and creative ideas with people. He would always think about art and wouldn’t shy away from appreciating an artiste. Agar unke saamne koi achha performance kar raha ho toh woh unki aankhon mein dikh jaata tha. You could see it.
‘The silence in Irrfan bhai’s presence was magical’
His way of life was very simple. He was a nature lover. During one of the outdoor schedules Irrfan bhai, his son Babil, wife Sutapa and I were sitting on a terrace. That evening, for three hours straight, we just kept looking at the bats that were flying in the sky. There was silence. Nobody was talking to anybody, but just enjoying the sight. The silence in Irrfan bhai’s presence was magical. Considering he’s a star, his co-stars or people around him would always try to chat with him. But I always believed that agar aap unhe samajhna chaahte ho toh unki khamoshi ko samjho. Aapko aadha Irrfan toh unki khamoshi mein hi samajh aa jaayega. Maine woh aadha Irrfan jaan ne ki koshish ki. Between all this, I can still hear his laughter and when I am alone and think about it. It leaves me with a smile. He was so much fun to be around. During our schedules, the two of us and a couple of more people would go trekking, swimming, for a walk in the park or to watch a film.”
‘The success of Hindi Medium made him very happy’
With Hindi Medium doing good at the box office, Irrfan was extremely happy. He was always called a fine actor. People said, ‘He’s an actor of a different league, par unki filmein paise nahi kamaati hai’. Hindi Medium broke that notion and that made him very happy. He hoped that Angrezi Medium would do good business, too.
‘I had messaged him that I wanted to meet him’
The last time I met him was in London during the shoot of Angrezi Medium. Later, I had messaged him several times that I wanted to meet him, but he wasn’t too keen on meeting anyone.