Part of the reason I skipped posting on two days last week was just feeling overcome with emotion, my mind heavy and unable to unclog itself and be coherent. It’s not like I tried and couldn’t get it together. I honestly didn’t even attempt writing in here.
The news of Irrfan Khan passing hit me hard. It was a dull, rainy day in Bangalore — the kind that usually makes me feel very upbeat and good. But it didn’t last week. Waking up to rainy weather and the news that he was no more, just plain old punched me in the gut. The otherwise welcome gray day in the midst of summer just felt hazy that day. Like the lights turned off early.
Irrfan Khan’s work has of course entertained me. So many performances pockmark not just my movie-watching experience, but also phases of my life where I have obsessed over certain films and characters with people who geek out about it equally. I have laughed, been stunned, thrilled and cried over his movies alike. So many times over. But more than that I’ve been touched by his life and the stories he tells of where he has come from. His energy has been inspiring on more than one occasion. There is a relatable humanness in him that just made him so accessible and I’ve listened to and been moved by his views, his perspectives, his mind too.
I struggled to digest the fact that all of is is just…gone.
I don’t usually get like this. The last this a loss like this felt so personal was when Anthony Bourdain died. Like then, even now, I’m still having at least one moment a day where I suddenly stop and a tiny bubble in my head bursts with the reminder — He’s no more.
I had to remind myself: it’s okay to not feel okay. Bad news about death, difficulty, poverty, starvation during what is already an emotionally heavy time is bound to feel heavier than usual, and that it’s okay to let it. It’s okay to feel bad. Terrible, even.
It’s okay to not feel okay.
I went through three days of just too many emotions and I think it only really lifted on the evening of my birthday. Even now though, I’m still in a bit of disbelief. In the last few days I’ve watched Angrezi Medium which was a good one time watch. I caught Qissa that churned me up from the insides and haunted me for days after. And last night I re-watched Paan Singh Tomar and gotten hit in the face with the force that Irrfan is in the film. So understated, subtle, speaking through his eyes, and pulling off that character nearly flawlessly. Next up is Haider. The one other film I really want to watch is The Namesake, but I’ve searched high and low and it’s just nowhere. Which is just such a shame, because it’s right up there in the top three best Irrfan films of all time.
I can’t believe that’s now a finite truth — “of all time” in context to Irrfan’s life. Because it’s done, and we’ve seen the best and worst of all that he had to give. I still can’t believe there won’t be anymore.
One year ago: Flow
Two years ago: Stuck in the sunshine riptide
Four years ago: That urban poverty piece that’s got errrrybody’s panties in a bunch