Mumbai: Irrfan Khan’s son Babil, wife Sutapa Sikdar and a host of Bollywood celebrities on Thursday remembered the late star on his 55th birth anniversary, almost a year after the actor lost his battle with a rare form of cancer.
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 at a Mumbai hospital in April 2020, leaving his fans, peers and family in mourning.
The actor was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, a rare form of cancer that attacks various parts of the body,
He was buried at the Versova graveyard and is survived by his wife Sutapa Sikdar and sons Babil and Ayaan.
Taking to Instagram, Babil shared a heart-warming video of Khan trying to video call him, in the presence of Sikdar and Ayaan.
He said though his father never encouraged him to remember the date, it’s impossible for him to forget it this time.
“Perhaps, that is why I don’t remember anyone’s birthdays because you never remembered mine and never encouraged me to remember yours. It was just normal to us what seemed absurd from the outside, we celebrated everyday (bringing personal experiential authenticity to the cliche).
“On the occasion, Mamma would have to remind us both; but this time I could not forget yours if I tried. It’s your birthday Baba. Shoutout to all the technologically inept parents, notice that they did not finish saying that they miss me,” Babil wrote in the caption.
Since Khan’s death, Babil’s Instagram handle has become a peek into the personal life of the famously private actor, serving as a memory bank for admirers who are yet come to terms with his death.
Sikdar, who was married to Khan for 25 years, also shared a note on Facebook, explaining why she used to celebrate the actor’s birthday every year.
“You used to ask me when you were really young ”why would you celebrate your birthday. Isn’t it one year less to your death day?” Of course these were conversation when you had just ventured out from home from conditioning to exploration, so you would question everything.
“I don’t remember what I answered you but today I want to answer so listen Irrfan I celebrate the day because how would I have met you if you were not born… so I celebrate the day the nakshatras, the tithi, the grahas, the alignment of the universe on that particular day which welcomed you in this planet,” she wrote.
From the film fraternity, actors like Ayushmann Khurrana, Anushka Sharma and filmmaker Ritesh Batra posted their tributes for Khan.
Khurrana posted a picture of Khan on social media and wrote that the versatile actor will “always be remembered”.
Sharma also shared a picture of Khan, writing, “A legendary figure of the industry! You will always be missed and your legacy will live on forever.”
Batra, who collaborated with Khan for critically-acclaimed 2013 movie “The Lunchbox”, said he still misses the actor.
“Happy birthday @irrfank, always miss you and always remember to listen for the music, not the noise.”
Manpreet Bacchhar, former manager of Khan and currently Creative Producer at Sikhya Entertainment, posted a throwback picture of the actor.
“You disliked celebrating birthdays… just quietly gonna slip in birthday wishes with “we miss you a lot” #irrfankhan,” she tweeted.
“Mirzapur 2” star Vijay Verma celebrated the actor’s birthday by posting his two photos with Khan from 2013 Cannes Film Festival and the screening of his Hollywood movie “Inferno” in 2016.
“Happy Birthday Maestro. You are missed everyday. Never been such a fanboy for anyone. Memories,” he said.
Filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda wrote on Twitter that Khan was an actor of “immense talent”
“His performances have left audiences in awe, the world over. You left a beautiful legacy behind @irrfank. My humble tributes to #IrrfanKhan on his birth anniversary,” he added.
Filmmaker Anees Bazmee tweeted, “To a man who was loved for his work across different film industries worldwide, and whose humble heart touched many lives. Remembering the man and the legend, #IrrfanKhan, on his birth anniversary!”
Prominent production houses Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, and Red Chillies Entertainment also marked Khan’s birthday with a dedicated tribute to the late actor.
“His intensity translated to brilliance onscreen. Remembering the phenomenal actor #IrrfanKhan on his birth anniversary,” read a tweet from YRF alongside Khan’s photo.
Dharma shared Khan’s black and white still from “The Lunchbox” and said that the actor’s “excellence will stay with us through his accomplishments on screen”.
Red Chillies posted a video of Khan’s stills from 2009 movie “Billu”, in which he co-starred with superstar Shah Rukh Khan and the owner of the production banner.
“Our beloved #Billu, who captured everyone’s hearts with his on-screen presence. Remembering the man and the legend, #IrrfanKhan, on his birth anniversary!” the banner tweeted.
Since his untimely death, Khan’s friends from the industry have kept him alive by sharing anecdotes, pictures and videos, in the process also helping fans grieve the loss of the late star.
Recently, Sikdar penned an emotional note about struggling to welcome the new year without the actor’s presence.
“It’s so difficult to wish 2020 as the worst year as you were still there. Last year this day next to me, gardening, busy building birds house how can I say goodbye to 2020!!
“Irrfan I have no idea how to welcome 2021!!” she wrote on Facebook alongside his pictures. PTI