This is not a loss, it’s a gain of things he taught us: Irrfan’s family shares heartfelt message


PTI, May 1, 2020, 1:22 PM IST

Mumbai: Living up to the positive spirit of Irrfan Khan, his family on Friday said the actor never liked the idea of “one dimensional reality” and that gives them hope to take his death not as a loss but a gain “of the things he taught us” and try to see rhythm in everything.

The best way to celebrate Irrfan’s life, his wife Sutapa Sikdar, said would be to implement those teachings and evolve and that’s what she and their two sons — Babil and Ayaan — plan to do.

Irrfan, one of India’s finest and most versatile actors, lost his battle with a rare form of cancer and died in a hospital here on Wednesday at the age of 54, leaving cinema lovers across the globe heartbroken.

Acknowledging the outpouring of grief from the actor’s fans everywhere, the writer-producer said she cannot “begin to feel alone” when millions were grieving with her.

“I want to assure everyone that this is not a loss, it is a gain. It’s a gain of the things he taught us, and now we shall finally begin to truly implement it and evolve.

She said even though it is hard to come to terms with Irrfan’s absence, he taught her to not settle for “ordinary in anything”.

“It’s unbelievable for us but I would put it in Irrfan’s words, ‘it’s magical’ whether he is there or not there, and that’s what he loved, he never loved one dimensional reality. The only thing I have a grudge against him is; he has spoiled me for life. His strive for perfection doesn’t let me settle for ordinary in anything.

“There was a rhythm which he always saw in everything, even in cacophony and chaos, so I have learnt to sing and dance to the music of that rhythm, even with my tone-deaf voice and two left feet, she said.

Calling their lives a masterclass, Sutapa said the actor’s cancer diagnosis taught them to find music in noise.

I learnt to see a harmony in the cacophony. The doctor’s reports were like scripts which I wanted to perfect, so I never miss any detail that he sought for in his performance.

She thanked the amazing people, the team of doctors in Delhi, UK and Mumbai who stood by the family during their darkest phase.

Sutapa said it is tough for her to put in words the two and half year long journey the family had together, with Irrfan leading the battle from the front.

It’s difficult to explain what a wondrous, beautiful, overwhelming, painful and exciting this journey has been. I find this 2 and 1/2 years to have been an interlude, which had it’s own beginning, middle and culmination with Irrfan helming the role of the orchestra conductor she said.

In the absence of their father, Sutapa said she just hopes her children move ahead with their father’s guidance in mind.

“I see my little family, in a boat, with both my sons Babil and Ayaan, paddling it forward, with Irrfan guiding them ‘wahan nahi, yahan se modo’ but since life is not cinema and there are no retakes, I sincerely wish my children sail this boat safely with their father’s guidance in mind and through the storm.

Summing up their father’s teachings, Babil and Ayan said he always asked them to learn to surrender to “dance of uncertainty” and “not let their mind control them”.

Sutapa said the family will plant a night-blooming jasmine, Irrfan’s favourite, where he was laid to rest after a victorious journey.

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