Actor Imran Hasnee knew the late Irrfan Khan for several years, and very closely. In fact, Imraan was one of the few people who obtained special permission to be present at the late actor's cremation, despite the lockdown.
"As the lockdown is on, I had to take special permission to go there. I was so numb at that point of time but I had to go rushing to see my friend who stood by me for 20 years. There was a time limit and only a select number of people could gather, so we were hurrying up everything. We were just following the rules," Imran recalled about the cremation.
The two worked together in Bollywood films like "Paan Singh Tomar" and international projects as "A Mighty Heart" and "Slumdog Millionaire" among others. Imraan terms Khan's acting as a spiritual expression. In "Paan Singh Tomar", Irrfan played the title character while Imran played his elder brother Matadeen Tomar.
"We shot that film under very tough weather condition in Chambal and Roorkee, and in the evening we usually would get tired. When we had the time we would go to a nearby club and play billiards. There is a village in Roorkee where villagers prepare fresh gur (molasses) and we used to go to have freshly made hot gur. That used to be delicious! He went through so much training to get the right body and body language, but you never heard him extensively talking about how he built his body that you otherwise get to see among others," Imran told IANS.
Despite winning several honours including the National Award and Padma Shri, Imran recalls Irrfan was never "loud" in celebration or showing off. "He was not one of those people who would indulge in celebration for an award, like ‘tamasha'. He would find happiness in small things, like flying kites or playing cricket. He used to feel happy to be surrounded by his family and close friends," said Imran.
Asked how he would like to remember Irrfan, Imran said: "(I would like to remember Irrfan) Through his performances. His performance was an extension of spiritual expression. That is why there was a connection between the art and the artist. That is why he touched so many lives through his on-screen presence."