I always wondered how far one can go? Is there an infinity? Is there a benchmark that defines your worth? How does one come to terms with the fact that they are dying with every passing day? Are there even any final answers?
I think Irrfan had found all these answers or at least he attempted to answer these questions. And that’s the reason why I admire him so much. When I first heard the news of his demise, I didn’t believe any of it. But when I was confronted with reality, I had to accept the fact that I will have to live in a world where Irrfan will not act anymore.
I don’t think he was acting when he said that “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye”. He was actually living this reality. And that’s what makes him so special – a man who truly lived his life, while others just performed.
To hold onto him a little longer, I started watching all his films, Some of which I didn’t even know existed.
Gradually, I started completing all his films. From The Warrior to The Song of the Scorpions, from No bed of Roses to Karamati Coat to The Cloud Door. Yes, I watched it all.
And with each passing film, I was comforted that Irrfan was here with me, for at least two hours, and that was enough.
But for some reason, I kept avoiding The Namesake. Not because I didn’t like the book’s adaptation, but because of the kind of relationship I shared with this charismatic person. I didn’t think I was ready for closure.
When I finally read the book, I couldn’t hold it anymore and ended up watching the film.
Just like Ashoke from The Namesake had said, “You remind me of everything that followed”, the film reminded me of everything that followed after the first time I had discovered him.
The Namesake is the story of an Indian family’s dichotomy between honoring their traditions and adjusting to American life.
The key message of the film was that there are no accidents in life, and that it keeps going. This actually summarizes my relationship with Irrfan’s films and life in general.
To anyone and everyone who is reading this article, it’s a humble request to watch this man’s entire filmography and understand the kind of territory he had acquired with his films. The diversity of genres and the range of performances that he had produced in his entire life is an inspiration. One should watch his films from time to time in order to understand the craft of a fine magician like himself.
People like Irrfan never die. He lives, and lives through his films. He lives through those who watch him through his films. And he lives on until all of us take the journey to reach that place, from where there will be no place to go.