Veteran Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan passed away at the Kokilaben Ambani Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday, March 29 at 53 years of age. The actor, who was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, had been admitted to the hospital for a colon infection a day before his demise. Throughout his acting career, Irrfan Khan starred in several Bollywood films and even appeared as a lead actor in a biographical 2012 sports drama Paan Singh Tomar.
Paan Singh Tomar is 2012 Bollywood fillm which is based on a true story of an Indian athlete with the same name. The athlete, Paan Singh Tomar, was a soldier in the Indian Army and was a seven-time national steeplechase champion between the 1950s and 1960s. He also represented India at the 1958 Asian Games.
In Aseem Chhabra's recent book titled Irrfan Khan: The Man, The Dreamer, the author revealed Irrfan Khan's approach for his titular role of Paan Singh Tomar in the 2012 blockbuster. The book also revealed how the director of Paan Singh Tomar, Tigmanshu Dhulia praised Irrfan Khan and lauded his magnanimity towards his work and success. According to the book, Dhulia said that steeplechase was a very challenging event for Irrfan Khan but the actor was always “sporty” for the Bollywood project.
The director described Irrfan Khan as his close friend and said that he would sometimes give a reference of his own life experience. Tigmanshu Dhulia added that he cannot do the same with any other actor he has worked with. He labelled Khan as a “very observant actor” who understood any life reference and reflected the same in his performances on screen.
Paan Singh Tomar on released March 2, 2012 to thunderous critical acclaim and box-office success. For his performance, Irrfan Khan also won the award for Best Actor at the 60th National Film Awards. Among other Irrfan Khan movies, the actor starred in several successful world-renowned films like Slumdog Millionaire (2008), The Lunchbox (2013), Haider (2014), Piku (2015) and Hindi Medium (2017)