When Irrfan Khan passed away due to cancer last year, Bollywood and Hollywood mourned the loss of such a stellar actor. One of the finest in his craft, Khan was touted to have gone too soon, as many paid rich tributes to him. Stars from the Pakistani film industry celebrated the Angrezi Medium star as well.
Adnan Siddiqui, who had worked with Khan on A Mighty Heart – a true story based on the life and death of American journalist Daniel Pearl - had often spoken about the late Indian superstar’s acting prowess. A year on, the Sammi alum has taken to Instagram once again to share a throwback video of Khan with his wife from the shooting of the Angelina Jolie starrer in Pune, all those years ago.
“It would be an affront to both Pakistan and India if its citizens, while working together, don’t turn their workplace into a cricket ground. Obviously, our sports rivalry for the Gentleman’s Game is too prominent to be ignored, even on film sets. When I was shooting for A Mighty Heart in Pune, Irrfan sahab and I often indulged in long-drawn discussions on cricket and Indo- Pak matches played previously, each offering his own expertise on what should have been," Siddiqui began. "This was the only instance when he would forget that I was a ‘guest’ from sarhad paar (across the border) who should be treated with kid’s gloves, and get into vociferous arguments on how brilliant Indian players were and the command they had over the game."
He further recalled, "In those conversations, I could feel that he wanted to challenge me to a game, both of us being ardent players. And then one day, he dropped the bomb. 'Let’s have a match,' he said. Soon enough, the backyard of the hotel where we were staying turned into a local Lords, with arch-rivals taking on each other."
Siddiqui went on, "This was also my time to bowl him over — something I couldn’t do in acting as he left me stumped every time. My bowling experience came in handy and I took his wicket not once but thrice! How could Irrfan sahab, representing India, let this slide? He muttered something like ‘Baap baap hota hai,’ vowing to avenge his wicket. He was determined and so was I. For once, the scales tilted in my favour and I still can’t stop gloating about it."
Concluding his note, the Mom actor shared how the video made him reminisce the good times. "This video took me back to Pune and to simpler times, when we could have after-parties without masks and SOPs in place, when artists weren’t shackled by borders and political agendas," he commented, "Irrfan sahab with his wife Sutapa Sikdar and son Ayaan at the after party of A Mighty Heart at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai."
Previously, on Khan's first death anniversary last month, Siddiqui couldn’t help but get emotional. “Outstanding actor, human being par excellence,” began the Yeh Dil Mera star at the time. “Irrfan bhai, I must have done something right in my life to have known you professionally and personally. Your vacuum in the cinematic world remains as stark, even after a year.” On multiple platforms, Siddiqui has expressed his grief over Khan’s untimely demise that left him “gutted and disturbed.” Previously, he had tweeted, “A fine soul gone too soon.”
Khan lost his life to neuroendocrine cancer in April of last year, leaving several loved ones and fans grieving forever. To mark the anniversary of his death, Sikdar and his son Babil also took to social media to pen heartfelt tributes. In a touching note, the latter spoke of his father’s legacy and how he found joy in the little things. “To the greatest best friend, companion, brother and father I ever had and ever will... I love you so much for the rest of this chaos, we are choosing to call life. I miss you.”
Sikdar, on the other hand, recalled Khan’s last moments before passing away. “How exactly does one swim this huge ocean of time? The clock stopped at 11:11 on April 29 for me.”
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