Irrfan Khan Knew That Death Was Approaching Him, Naseeruddin Shah Recalls Their Conversation

Naseeruddin Shah recalled how Irrfan Khan was aware of his death two years ahead of his demise and talked about the same to him.


By Monisha G Kumar Last Updated:

Irrfan Khan Knew That Death Was Approaching Him, Naseeruddin Shah Recalls Their Conversation

Hindi cinema got one of the biggest shocks in April 2020, when actor, Irrfan Khan left for the heavenly abode. Not just his family and friends, Irrfan’s untimely death was a personal loss for all his fans, and April 29, 2020, will always be etched in our hearts as the day we lost one of the most amazing actors.

One of the versatile and gifted actors, Irrfan Khan had stunned his audience with stellar performances in films like Salaam Bombay, The Namesake, Billu Barbar, The Lunchbox, Haider and many more. The actor's death had come as a shock for many, his friend and co-actor, Naseeruddin Shah revealed how Irrfan knew that death was approaching him.

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Irrfan Khan

In an interview with Indian Express, Naseeruddin Shah revealed that Irrfan Khan was aware of his death for two years. Talking about the same, Naseeruddin said:

"That was a unique thing because Irrfan knew for about two years that it was going to happen. I spoke to him several times over the phone even when he was in the hospital in London. It was amazing and it was a real lesson how he dealt with it."


Sharing how Irrfan told him about death coming close to him, Naseeruddin recalled his words as:

"'I am observing death approaching me and how many people get that opportunity? To be able to see this grim reaper coming towards you and you are almost welcoming him'. Of course, it was a terrible loss. But it was not in our hands. It was just your bodily machinery shutting down. You don’t have any control over it."

In March 2018, Irrfan was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour and a few days later, he had left for London for his treatment. He had returned in February 2019 for shooting the film, Angrezi Medium, and had flown back to London for another surgery. He had returned to India in September 2019 hale and hearty, but on April 28, 2020, the actor was admitted to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital due to colon infection and was kept in ICU. On April 29, 2020, the actor had breathed his last and had bid adieu to his loved ones.

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In an interview with Film Companion, Irrfan Khan's son, Babil had recalled the last words of his baba before he had left them. Stating how Irrfan was aware that he would not make it through, Babil had said:

“I was there in the hospital, two-three days before he died. He was losing consciousness and one of the last things he said...he just looked at me, smiled and said 'I am going to die' and I told him 'No you are not'. He then smiled again and went back to sleep.”

Irrfan Khan and Babil Khan

Irrfan Khan and Naseeruddin Shah have worked in several films including Maqbool and 7 Khoon Maaf.

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