Irrfan has left such a big vacuum, how will we now represent acting to the world, asks his Talvar co-star Neeraj Kabi
Saddened by the news of Irrfan Khan’s pasing away, his Talvar co-star, Neeraj Kabi regrets that he never really got a chance to interact with this ‘gem of a person’.Updated: Apr 30, 2020 10:59 IST
Irrfan’s untimely death has not just shocked fans, but his colleagues, too, are finding it hard to come to terms with the news of his passing. For Neeraj Kabi, who worked with Irrfan in Talvar (2015), this feels like a great loss as he was inspired by how the late actor raised the bar of acting, which paved way for many others including him.
“The sad part is that he has left such a big vacuum in Indian cinema... how will we now represent acting to the world? The first thought that comes when you lose a man like this is that who will fill up that space? There’s nobody. in today’s times, he has no replacement. He was a flag bearer of the standard of acting in India, and then came others,” shares a Kabi.
The actor admits that he never knew Irrfan personally despite working in a film together and he does regret that he never really got a chance to interact with this “gem of a person.”
“There was something so strange and strong about his aura, even on the set of Talvar, I could never really go to him and talk to him as a friend. He was very powerful and very strong in what he gave as an artiste to the world that by default one had to maintain that distance out of respect and awe. He was one year senior to me but he was years ahead in his craft. There was so much that one had to do to catch up with what Irrfan is,” says Kabi.
But the 52-year-old fondly remembers working with Irrfan on the film, especially how respectful he was towards his other co-stars, despite having the stature that he had. And that, Kabi feels, separated Irrfan from the rest.
“It was my first day of shoot, and we had a scene together and it was a sad confession scene and he was to interrogate me. When I came to the set, it was all quiet. He gave me the space to feel what I wanted to feel for that scene and it was amazing. It was so over whelming to see such a gesture by such a great actor, there were no tantrums, no loud noises and no loud talking,” he recounts.
Kabi also shares how Irrfan, though a man of few words, had his own style of appreciating another co-star.
“After we finished the scene and he just walked across me and extended his hand for a handshake. That was all he did to show how much he liked what I did with the scene. I felt so wonderful. It was such a beautiful way to applaud your work. This is the memory that has been there with me,” he explains.
The actor also feels an artiste like Irrfan will continue to live in th hearts of his admirers forever. “A man like him can never die. We will go back to him again and again. He has left a strong mark on our souls,” he says.