Thousands of Osho lovers around the world have been paying their heartfelt tributes to Bollywood- Hollywood artist Irrfan Khan who left his body on 29th April in Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, where he was being treated for a colon infection. He was a real artist–and a real artist does not die, he simply leaves his body for the journey to the further shore. This is what Irrfan did. He did not live a long life ( only 53 years) but a multi-dimensional life of intensity. He brought the same intensity while acting in a variety of movies. 

He loved reading Osho’s books, sometimes madly and he understood and lived Osho’s insight of Living Life as if it is Acting (movie- drama-theater ), and Acting as if it is Life. After seeing his movies in which he acted naturally and with intensity, we can conclude that he did not die–he simply left his body. and he would live on in his movies.

Thousands of Osho lovers would have given him a celebrating send off in Mumbai, but it could not happen because of the Coronavirus lockdown, but they all have given him a celebrative send off in the cyberspace. Though, the fanatics of his religion did not do the same, because a few years of Irrfan had given a statement which the fanatics did not like.  

On Jule 25, 2016, Irrfan Khan had appeared on Times Now’s ‘The Newshour’ show with then Editor-in-Chief of Arnab Goswami, where he took part in a discussion expressing his ideas on Islam and his own way of practicing his faith.  

Netizens not only remembered his magnificent acting career but also the progressive ideas of Irrfan Khan, who had time-and-again expressed his idea of practising religion, despite being well aware of the fact that he would be admonished by the hardliners.

On Jule 25, 2016, Irrfan Khan had appeared on Times Now’s ‘The Newshour’ show with then Editor-in-Chief of Arnab Goswami, where he took part in a discussion expressing his ideas on Islam and his own way of practising his faith.  The controversy which had erupted after  the actor  had made certain comments on the need of observing Roza during the Ramzan and also sacrificing animals during the Islamic festival of Bakrid.

Earlier, in an event in Jaipur, he had said that in today’s practices, the actual meaning of Qurbani (sacrifice) has been lost. He pointed out that purchasing a goat from the market and killing it after two days is not ‘Qurbani’. He had added that the essence of the Islamic festival is about giving up, sacrificing something that is important to oneself. 

‘Rather than fasting during Ramzan, people should self-introspect. Animals are being slaughtered on the name of Qurbani,” Irrfan had said in the show.  

This statement angered the fanatics and one of them wrote on the twitter: Allah’s ultimate punishment that the actor who had once insulted the ritual of fasting during the month of Ramzan, died during the month of Ramzan. 

The fanatics never talk of compassion though the authentic religious quality is of peace, love, and compassion “Mercy and compassion are the basis of Islam”, said Irrfan Khan as he spoke about the misconceptions people have about Islam and terrorism. He had also expressed that instead of observing fast during the month of Ramzan, people should rather introspect. He has also spoken against sacrifice during Muharram and how one is supposed to mourn in that period and not celebrate it like a festival.

Irrfan had studied Osho’s discourses deeply and was a transformed person. He lived a life of total sensitivity and celebrating life.  Irrfan Khan’s wife Sutapa Sikdar recently took to her Facebook page to pen an emotional post for her late husband. Changing her Facebook profile picture to one with him, she captioned it as, “I have not lost, I have gained in every which way”.

“How can I write this as a family statement when the whole world is taking it as a personal loss? How can I begin to feel alone when millions are grieving with us at the moment? I want to assure everyone that this is not a loss, it is a gain. It’s a gain of the things he taught us, and now we shall finally begin to truly implement it and evolve. Yet I want to try to fill in the things that people don’t already know”, wrote Sutapa, consoling the diehard fans of the actor’s whose death has left a huge void in their hearts. 

“It’s unbelievable for us but I would put it in Irrfan’s words, “it’s magical” whether he is there or not there, and that’s what he loved, he never loved one-dimensional reality. The only thing I have a grudge against him is; he has spoiled me for life. His strive for perfection doesn’t let me settle for ordinary in anything. There was a rhythm which he always saw in everything, even in cacophony and chaos, so I have learnt to sing and dance to the music of that rhythm, even with my tone-deaf voice and two left feet. Funnily, our life was a masterclass in acting, so when the dramatic entry of the “uninvited guests” happened, I had by then learnt, to see harmony in the cacophony.

A couple of years ago, Irrfan had visited Osho International resort in Pune: This is how he described his first stay: “It was the first time I stayed at Osho Commune. It reminded me of the moment when I came to Bombay and saw the ocean for the first time. It was hypnotic, inviting and magnanimous. It felt like a playschool to me where one can learn about oneself ( for me the greatest education in life is know oneself at the deepest level ) , it provides discipline and freedom. It’s like a laboratory where one can experiment with oneself , with external self internal self both. It’s like a gamma (  a health treatment in which you sit in a room full of steam and are then usually massaged…) where you wash away all the dirt of previous conditionings and clean yourself. It’s like fertile land where you drop your seed in it and wait for it to germinate.”

I will conclude my tribute to Irrfan with Osho’s powerful expression on creative art: “The creator cannot follow the well-trodden path, he has to search out his own way, he has to inquire in the jungles of life, he has to go alone, he has to be a dropout from the mob mind, from the collective psychology. The collective mind is the lowest mind in the world; even the so-called idiots are a little superior to the collective idiocy. But the collectivity has its own bribes: it respects people, honors people, if they go on insisting that the way of the collective mind is the only right way. “

Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.” ― Osho  

Picture courtesy Osho International Resorts Pune