Sutapa Sikdar and Irrfan Khan studied together at National School of Drama, New Delhi.
Sutapa Sikdar and Irrfan Khan studied together at National School of Drama, New Delhi.

Irrfan Khan’s wife Sutapa was also his pillar of support, he had said ‘If I ever get to live, I want to live for her’

Sutapa Sikdar was a star wife like none other; rarely seen in public through her husband Irrfan Khan’s illustrous career but come the hour and she was the one to stand up and get counted in his brave battle against a rare disease.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON APR 29, 2020 03:35 PM IST

On Wednesday, India got a shock when one of her favourite stars Irrfan Khan lost his battle to neuroendocrine tumour after putting up a spirited fight for more than two years. The actor, who came in from the sidelines to become India’s face internationally, died at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, surrounded by his family.

From March 2018 till the end came on April 29, 2020 the one person who stood between Irrfan and death was his wife Sutapa Sikdar. A star wife who was rarely seen in public, she came to the fore as the duo fought the bravest battle of them all. As National School of Drama sweethearts, they remained each other’s biggest support system.

Through his sickness, Irrfan gave very few interviews but whenever he did and, whenever he was asked about his wife, gratitude and love is what he expressed. Speaking about Sutapa to Mumbai Mirror, Irrfan had said that if he got a chance to live, he would want to do it for her. “What to say about Sutapa? She is there 24/7. She has evolved in care-giving and if I ever get to live, I want to live for her. She is the reason for me to keep at it still,” he had said reflecting on their collective struggle against the rare disease that would finally catch up with him.

Also read: Irrfan Khan, actor extraordinaire and India’s face in the West, dies at 53

After diagnosis in 2018, Sutapa had written how her “best friend and my partner” was a “warrior” and “fighting every obstacle with tremendous grace and beauty”. She had written: “My best friend and my partner is a ‘warrior’ he is fighting every obstacle with tremendous grace and beauty. I apologize for not answering calls msgs,but I want all of you to know I am truly humbled indebted for ever for the wishes prayers and concern from all over the world. I am grateful to god and my partner for making me a warrior too. I am at present focused in the strategies of the battlefield which I have to conquer.”

Days after their diagnosis, Irrfan with his family that flown to London to get the best possible medical treatment. While nothing much was heard of him, an occasional tweet or an Instagram who tell us that the treatment was on course. Then, some time in 2019, the rather reticent Sutapa had written another Facebook post about how the year had been the longest year of her life.

She had written, “Longest year of our life . Time was never measured with pain and hope at the same time ever.while we take our babysteps back to work,to life I am submerged in prayers wishes and faith from friends relatives strangers and a connection with universe which gives us a small chance for this new start. It seems unbelievable …never ever I realized the meaning of the word unpredictable so well…never ever I could feel peoples wishes on my bones my breath my heartbeat which helped me to stay focused and kicking.. i cant take names because there are names and there are names I don’t even know who played angels.”

In times to come, whenever Irrfan’s battle against this disease is spoken of, it will remain incomplete with the mention of Sutapa.

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