Irrfan Khan is no more with us and this harsh reality has left us shocked, and deeply sad. While everyone who knew the talented actor closely, his colleagues, and fans have been posting messages for him on social media, we spoke to Nitish Bharadwaj, who directed Irrfan (played the role of Kans) in his show, Geeta Rahasya. Nitish was also his co-star in the show.
Nitish shared some beautiful memories with us about Irrfan. The director told us how his first meeting with Irrfan, back in 1995, made him feel that the actor knew his craft. He cast him in his debut serial, Geeta Rahasya as Kans, when Irrfan was not very sure of playing it to the best of his capability.
"Irrfan's first television performance was with me in Geeta Rahasya. I had directed, produced and co-written it. I told him to play Kans and he was surprised. He asked me, "How can I play Kans? I have had an injury, my left hand hardly moves, I am so lean. I don't look like Kans at all. And I told him, "You're a theatre actor and villainy is a trait, not muscles. I told him I want you to give that dimension to Kans, and what he delivered was a magical performance," Nitish told us.
The director went on to recall the scene, in which Irrfan's performance left him mesmerized. He said, "I still remember the scene, where Krishna comes to Mathura and the entire public is on his side. He is heading towards the battle field and Kans knows his end. I told Irrfan that I want only one expression from him- 'that you are almost gone, you don't want to believe it but you are forced to believe it.' I still remember the expression and gesture he gave me. We had three four takes- it was just a simple look at the sky and one gentle touch to his forehead. That was it. I didn't want any dialogues. He was a master of expressions without dialogues. Any actor can act with dialogues but the one who does without it, with just expression, is the true one."
Recalling the time he first met Irrfan, Nitish said, "It was at Ravi Baswani's house. We all are his staple- Ashutosh Gowarikar, Asif Shaikh, Amit Behl, Irrfan- we all used to meet at his place in the evenings. In 1195, I got back to India from UK, and visited Ravi, and he introduced me to Irrfan, saying, 'Meet this dynamic student from National School Of Drama.' And then we started meeting, he used to listen to us quietly, ask questions, and from what he asked, I knew that this man knows his craft."
We then asked Nitish if he was in touch with Irrfan, to which he replied, "Yeah, I met him 4-5 years back, on the set of one of his films, in Worli. I had gone to invite him for a premiere of my show. Unfortunately, he was busy with some foreign assignment at that time so he couldn't attend it. However, I spoke to him about my film, the script of which I was writing at that time, and told him I have a role for him. Irrfan, in his usual calm way said, 'Ho jaaye toh bata dena, I am always there for you.' And just like that I have always been there for him. He used to look at me and say, 'mera bhagwaan aagaya.'"
Nitish also shared with us that after his illness he had messaged Irrfan's wife, Sutapa, a couple of times. However, he stopped thereafter as he wanted the family to have their space and privacy.
Nitish concluded the chat on a very emotional note as he revealed, "For my film, about which I had spoken to Irrfan, I had already discussed his name with the producer. He was the villain in my debut TV show, and I had almost cast him as the villain of my debut Hindi film. He had a lot of years to live and had many things to do before he left us."
Image Source:- twitter/nitishkrishna8, Instgram/irrfan
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