After Irrfan Khan's untimely demise, many celebrities who worked with him, came forward and shared their experience with the kind-hearted and talented actor. The 53-year-old actor was battling a rare cancer and earlier this week, was admitted to the hospital due to a colon infection. Condolences poured in from all over the world after the news of his demise hit the internet.
For netizens and the film industry, Irrfan's passing felt like a personal loss. While the actor is known for his versatile choice of roles and surreal skills, not many knew about the actor's personal life. Sharing an anecdote about Irrfan, actor-director Bobby Parvez took to his Facebook account and recalled an incident from the time, when cell phones were still rare and expensive.
Parvez wrote that Irrfan and his wife Sutapa's phone number was used by many struggling actors as their point of contact to be called for auditions. "It was almost twenty years back, I'd just gone to Bombay and was working as an assistant director. That was the time of no mobile phones or even if they were they were prohibitively expensive."
"With no cell number or landline phone at home, budding actors who wanted to break into the scene and visited the director simply wrote down a number on the back of their photographs and waited for a callback. That number belonged to Khan. Along with the number was the reference name of Khan or his wife Sutapa. Tens of hundreds of actors used to come from Delhi and they all, mark my words, hundreds of them used to give on back of their photos a home telephone number and a reference name. It was the same number hundreds of actors gave and That name was Irrfan or Sutapa his wife," he added.
Parvez revealed that Irrfan received thousands of calls, and he noted the information to pass it on for the actors. "The actors who did get a callback were then informed by Khan about the particulars of the role and which director had asked them to visit them where. Khan was on the receiving end of such hundreds and thousands of calls and he meticulously noted down intricate details of every such actor whether it was day or night. Every single time. He did it till mobile phones became a thing,"
Recalling the incident, Parvez revealed this was his first impression on Irrfan and added, "I used to think who is this stupid Irrfan who takes messages for everyone. And mind you he must have been receiving messages from tens of offices. One person was supposed to call him in the night and he would pass on all the messages to him who would subsequently pass it along. And he did it for years till possibly mobiles became common."
Maybe because of such pure heart and the prayers of thousands he helped, Irrfan Khan went on to give Bollywood some of the biggest classics and films that reshaped cinema like, Paan Singh Tomar, Haasil, The Lunchbox, The Namesake, Life of Pi, Piku, etc.