He Was a Keen Observer of Life: Nimrat Kaur Remembers Irrfan Khan

The two starred together in ‘The Lunchbox’.

3 min read
Nimrat Kaur with Irrfan Khan in <i>The Lunchbox</i>

Actor Irrfan Khan’s sudden demise came as a shock to his fans as well as his friends in the industry. Nimrat Kaur, who starred with Irrfan in the critically acclaimed film The Lunchbox, told The Quint about moments from their shoot.

Nimrat said, “I got to know last night from Ritesh Batra who is in New York. He called me and said that he is not doing well at all. The doctors are not happy with what it's looking like and he (Ritesh Batra) was deeply disturbed. I was just praying that he comes out on the other side. So it didn't come as a complete shock to me but at the same time I am deeply unsettled and I can't wrap my head around the fact that he is no more.”

“The fact that he came from such humble beginnings and middle class background and the fact that he had his ear to the ground and he never lost sight of that. He was a keen observer of life, he had a remarkable sense of humour and a sharp wit.”
Nimrat Kaur

She adds, “The gravitage he brought to everything he talked about. He was not a frivolous person. He was extremely aware of life and the ups and downs life that brings for us.”

Talking about their film’s success at Cannes Film Festival and how Irrfan told her to celebrate the good moments in life, Nimrat adds, “Because I was so overwhelmed I asked him at the end of the day, ‘How do I handle this?’ And he laughed and he said, ‘You know the good moments and the highs in life don't come that often so just hold on to that and don't be shy of celebrating because these are the gifts God gives you for all the struggles you have been through and all the bad times you have lived so do not be shy of holding on to the good times and celebrating them to the fullest because all of this is short-lived.’ And I'll always remember that.”

Actor Neeraj Kabi also remembered Irrfan Khan and recalled the time they worked together in Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar.

He told The Quint, “I can very quickly remember a scene which I was doing with him, which was an interrogation scene where I was there with him across a table and it was a small cell. I think if I am not mistaken that was my first day at shoot. I remember going over there with a lot of excitement that I'll be performing with an actor who I always looked up to so much for his craft and his excellence. I remember outside the room as I entered I could hear him talking slightly loudly with the director.”

“So the AD took me in, I was in my character who was grieving the loss of his daughter and he was jailed. I was entering with that sense. The moment I entered I suddenly realised he had gotten into hushed tones. He was no more speaking loudly. He suddenly turned into whispers with everybody else. Giving me the entire space and the silence I require to perform my scene.”
Neeraj Kabi

Calling it a touching and a moving moment for him, Neeraj adds, “That was very shocking. Although I was completely engrossed in my character yet I could sense this bit. That here is this amazing actor who I always wanted to work with who hushed down his tone without even being asked to do that. He just on his own hushed down. Giving that respect to a co-actor which was so touching and moving.”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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