Actor Irrfan Khan’s tryst with acting started as a teenager in Jodhpur when he used to watch his maternal uncle Sajid Nisar act in plays at the city’s town hall in the early 80s.
The 54-year-old actor lost his battle with a rare form of cancer and died in a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday (April 29). He is survived by Sutapa and his sons Babil and Ayaan.
Irrfan, who was in teens at the time, used to observe his uncle’s performance on stage and would be glued to his seat until the play concluded, Nisar said.
“Mamu, aap ye kaise kar let ho? Sabke samne aap nervous nahi hote? Apni ghabrahat ko kaise kabu men rakhte ho? (Uncle, how do you do this? Aren’t you nervous to perform in front of the audience ? How do you control your nervousness?) These were some of his questions after the play,” he said.
Nisar said that Irfan was just 10 years younger to him and they both were very friendly with each other.
“Whenever he was in Jodhpur, he used to visit his maternal home. We would do lot of kite flying, roaming around the city specially Mandore garden and rocks of Kailana lake and lot more,” he added.
Through Nisar, Irrfan got to know another theatre artist Madan Borana, who helped the actor prepare for his interview for Delhi’s National School of Drama (NSD).
“Since I was senior to him, he sought guidance from me for cracking the NSD interview. I helped him in the preparations. By chance, he made it through the interview and I could not. He cried but I motivated him to proceed,” recalled Borana.
For Nisar, Irrfan’s death came as a dual blow as he had lost his sister and the actor’s mother, Saeeda, just four days ago.
“Due to lockdown, we could neither attend my sister’s funeral nor now my nephew’s funeral,” said Nasir.