Working in Sakal Times, I have had the privilege to meet and occasionally interact with actors during their visits to our office. The visits are mostly for film promotions, but a few of the actors also share lighter moments and non-film conversations with us when we are done with the Q&A and recording.
A conversation, which is still etched in my mind, is the one I had with Irrfan Khan. I had asked the father of two when he had visited us for the promotions of Hindi Medium about his parenting skills and experiences. He said that he gave his two boys a lot of freedom to explore their growing-up years and discover new things. There were very few restrictions. He seemed like a chilled-out dad who understood the requirements of a new-age parent and what kind of guidance and support kids need nowadays.
“Oh, and I forgot to mention this: Í also give them a lot of freedom when it comes to religion. I have told them that they can follow any faith. It’s up to them what they want to follow and practise,” Irrfan told me this when my colleagues and I were gathering just outside the office lobby to take a picture with him.
I really liked the fact that he was thinking about the parenting question. He connected with me as a parent and not a movie star.
Later, we did take a picture, and I put it up on my Facebook wall. As I write this, some of my friends and colleagues are resharing the post and reminiscing about the brilliant, cerebral actor who gave some remarkable performances on screen. The gentle, liberal and compassionate human being will be dearly missed.
Another trait that really touched me was Irrfan’s humility. The Bollywood star, who also made it to Hollywood, had no starry tantrums. Usually, when actors visit our office, they prefer having green tea or nibbles from some popular restaurant. When Irrfan visited us, he was happy to have our humble office canteen food. We offered him a plate of idli and sambar and a plate of freshly cut fruits, and he happily finished it.
He was famished doing all the media house visits and promotions and didn’t have time to have lunch. But he felt satiated with the idli and fruits. A simple man with simple needs but high thinking.