Actress Tisca Chopra worked with the late Irrfan Khan in the critically acclaimed film Qissa besides in TV projects. She says Irrfan pushed her in the right direction during her initial days of struggle.
"As I was struggling in the nineties and feeling disheartened, I would say that I wanted to quit acting because there was nothing that I could get from here, especially substantial work that I was looking forward to. I remember Tishu (Tigmanshu Dhulia) and Irrfan were there, and Irrfan promptly said, 'dekh lo, kaise har maan rahi hai, acting chhod dena hai? Theek hai, chhod de, lekin yaad rakh, apne tarike se aage badhne ke liye, himmat chahiye hoti hai… guts chahiye, guts!'" Tisca recalled, speaking to IANS.
According to the actress, Irrfan gave DVDs of films like Bullets Over Broadway and Once Upon A Time In America and it was like a task for her to watch and understand these films.
Subsequently, Irrfan produced a segment of the TV show, Star Bestsellers, titled Hum Saath Saath Hain Kya? that was written by his wife Sutapa Sikdar and directed by Dhulia. He cast Tisca in the segment.
"He gave me the right kind of challenges for an actor to stay at my battle. Along with him, Tigmanshu and a few more people gave me the scope to overall challenge the scene of entertainment. He was surely instrumental in my career," shared Tisca.
Irrfan passed away on April 29 in Mumbai, at the age of 53, due to colon infection. While the sudden demise of the actor left the film industry shocked and sadden, Tisca said: "Now that few days have gone by, emotionally I am in a better stage. I am talking and thinking why so many people reacted to Irrfan's demise as a personal loss. I think, even if you do not know him personally, through his acting, he showed us expressions that we usually reserve for our family, friends, and intimate people."
She added, "As an actor, he had the courage to show us that vulnerability. So even as an audience when you watch his film, through his performance you experience the story along with those characters. You, as an audience did not look at Irrfan, you looked with him at the world of that story. That is why it is intimate. That is why Irrfan belonged to his audience. That is why his demise is very personal to the audience. Of course, we are his close people! It is devastating for us."
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