Late actor Irrfan Khan always had a friend in wife Sutapa Sikdar. From discussing scripts to every scene, Sutapa described her and Irrfan’s bonding as something more of a like-minded partnership than a regular marriage.
“We discussed everything. Ours was not actually a marriage, it was more of a meeting of minds, a partnership, we were more like friends. We began as friends, we remained friends,” shared Sutapa.
Infact, she felt uncomfortable when everyone in Bollywood referred to her as ‘bhabhiji’ (sister-in-law) because she didn’t look at herself as just the actor’s wife.
“I had a very uncomfortable feeling because in Bollywood everyone calls all actors’ wives bhabhiji because I was not that so-called ‘Bhabhiji’ and I never imagined it in my head,” she said.
Irrfan’s choice of films gave him not just national recognition but also global acclaim. His movies like Life of Pi, The Warrior, The Namesake and Indian films such as Paan Singh Tomar, Haidar, Piku, and Maqbool are still remembered fondly by his fans.
Irrfan’s love for cinema was also part of his marriage. The couple would have several brainstorming sessions together about his projects. Sutapa revealed, “So we would discuss every script. We used to discuss the script every day, like any scene. Like if he was watching a scene and he would call ‘come, come watch this!’ And we watched a lot of films together. That’s what we did. We never went to restaurants. We went to the jungles and watched films and that’s all we did.”
She also said that Irrfan didn’t like celebrating one day and it helped her learn to cherish every day of life. The actor passed away in 2020 after battling neuroendocrine cancer.
Now, Irrfan’s elder son Babil has followed his father’s footsteps and joined films. He was part of the 2022 film Qala, in which he played the role of Jagan Batwal.
Sutapa recalls the first day Irrfan’s team had come to prepare Babil for his shoot. She recalled, “The first day when the same team came, the make-up people came home and were doing his make-up, he was wearing the same clothes. It was nostalgic, it was heartbreaking, I couldn’t bear it.”