Colleagues, longtime associates and fans remembered Irrfan on Twitter after the actor’s death in Mumbai on Wednesday. Almost everyone bemoaned the fact that Irrfan had died far too young (he was 53).
Irrfan had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrime tumour in 2018. He was in Mumbai at the time of his demise. He was admitted to a hospital for a colon infection a few days ago. He is survived by his wife, television writer and producer Sutapa Sikdar, and sons Babil and Ayan. He was buried on Wednesday afternoon.
The news of Irrfan’s death was broken on Twitter by Shoojit Sircar, who directed Irrfan in the family comedy Piku, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone, in 2015.
Deepika Padukone posted a black screen on her Instagram. Others who shared their tributes through Twitter included Konkona Sensharma, who worked with Irrfan in Life… in a Metro (2007) and Talvar (2015), Shah Rukh Khan, who produced the Irrfan-led Billu (2009), and Mahesh Bhatt, who worked with Irrfan in several films in the early 2000s such as Kasoor (2001), Footpath (2003) and Rog (2005).
Bhatt recalled singing lines from a song Maine Dil Se Kaha (I told the heart) from Rog to Irrfan when he met him after he was diagnosed with the tumour: “I told my heart to go search for happiness, the naive heart brought back sadness, so be it.”
Among those who shared their feelings were Nimrat Kaur, who alongside Irrfan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui was in Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox (2013), and Sudhir Mishra, who directed Irrfan in Yeh Saali Zindagi (2011). Nandita Das remembered the time they acted together in Supari (2003). Priyanka Chopra too rewound to 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), in which Irrfan plays one of her several husbands.
Among Irrfan’s best performances was in the Punjab-language Qissa (2013). Co-actor Tillotama Shome remembered his advice to her.
Arjun Kapoor, who was in Gunday (2014) with Irrfan, remembered “the pleasure of standing” in the same frame as Irrfan.
From across the border, Irrfan’s Hindi Medium co-star Saba Qamar expressed her shock and sorrow. Tributes came in from Hollywood too, where Irrfan starred in several big-name productions, including Jurassic World, directed by Colin Trevorrow.
Asif Kapadia, who gave Irrfan his first international film The Warrior (2001), posted a photograph from the shoot.
Fans and cartoonists filled Twitter with scenes and stills from his films, such as The Namesake (2006), and commercials.