Few people manage to make a space in our hearts for a lifetime. Irrfan was one of them. Man, I hate using past tense for him. It’s been almost two years since we lost him and still, tears well up in my eyes, every time I write about him. The actor would have turned 55 today, and on Irrfan’s birth anniversary, allow me to take you through his onscreen travels. By Karan Kaushik
Irrfan’s filmography has had some extensive shooting locations. From London in English Medium to Florence in Inferno to Kualoa Ranch in Jurassic Park to Nyack in The Namesake, the actor was blessed to shoot at incredible locations across the world, and a few equally spectacular locations in India, too.
Dear IrrFans, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to embark on this incredible Indian trail with our beloved actor’s movies on Irrfan’s birth anniversary. Fair warning, a box of tissues may come in handy!
Here are destinations that Irrfan’s movies make us want to visit
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Let’s begin with Dilwalon ki Delhi. Delhi was special for Irrfan. He studied at the National School of Drama here. Through his films, he introduced his audiences to a Delhi they had not seen much of. Remember Irrfan’s Raj taking Saba Qamar’s Mita, aka Mitthu on a rickshaw ride through the old alleys of Chandni Chowk in Hindi Medium? His adorable character as a Punjabi businessman not only gave major Karol Bagh shopping goals to the lovers of retail therapy, but it also taught us how to love.
Then there was Talvar. Although a crime thriller, the movie showed Irrfan’s character enjoying piping hot Chinese food at a roadside eatery, somewhere in south Delhi. True blue foodies would vouch for the fact that enjoying a wholesome Chinese meal at small food trucks and eateries, is one of the best experiences, you can have in Delhi.
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In Tanuja Chandra’s road-trip-rom-com Qarib Qarib Singlle, Irrfan’s Yogi, an over-aged hopeless romantic takes his blind date Jaya (played by Parvathy Thiruvothu) on a journey of a lifetime. They begin their nervous adventures in Rishikesh and the story reaches its climax in Gangtok. In Rishikesh, the duo enjoys jalebis and kulhad wali chai on the picturesque ghats of Rishikesh. They were also seen attending the grand Ganga aarti at night. For stay, Yogi and Jaya choose the peaceful Parmaarth Ashram. That could be a nice itinerary for anyone planning a maiden trip to Rishikesh. Just add savouring divine gulab jamuns at Choti Wala Restaurant and cinnamon buns at German Bakery to it, and you are good to go.
Lovestruck Yogi and indecisive Jaya conclude their trip in Sikkim. It was refreshing to see the northeastern state in a quintessential Bollywood movie. What added to the zen vibes was Irrfan’s unparalleled charm. From helping his anxious date in dealing with mountain sickness to confessing his love on a ropeway ride, Irrfan taught us a lesson or two in chivalry and romance. Watching the majestic Eastern Himalayas shimmer under the bright sun and colourful prayer flags flutter against the backdrop of grand monasteries was a sheer treat for the audience. Hindi filmmakers, please start shooting more often in the northeast.
In Oscar-nominated and National Award-winning Ashvin Kumar’s short featurette Road To Ladakh, Irrfan portrays the role of a drug dealer, who somehow ends up attracting Koel Purie’s Sharon. The movie was shot in incredible locations across Ladakh and captured its heavenly beauty to a tee. The scenes shot around the brown sands of Ladakh are enough to inspire discerning travellers to visit the Union Territory. Those of you, who have always wanted to go on a bike journey to Ladakh with your friends, must watch this unusual movie. And before you know, you’ll be riding through those windy lanes, stopping often, to marvel at the mammoth mountains that bless Ladakh’s landscape.
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One of Irrfan’s last films, Karwaan, directed by Akarsh Khurana, takes us through God’s own country. Irrfan’s Shaukat, a Hyderabadi truck driver takes Dulquer Salmaan’s Avinash and Mithila Palkar’s Tanya on a journey of a lifetime. The three oddballs start their road trip from Bangalore, stop at Ooty, and finally make their way to Kochi. The film’s cinematographer Avinash Arun deserves a special mention here. Arun’s camera managed to capture the rustic and lush beauty of southern India perfectly. Most parts of the movie were shot in Kerala. Of special note were the aerial shots in the movie which introduced us to the vibrant roads and picturesque landscapes of Kochi and Madumalai.
Angrezi Medium will always be special for Irrfan Khan fans. A sequel to Hindi Medium, the gifted actor’s last movie was based in Udaipur. In the film, we get to see the old-world charm of the narrow alleys and bustling markets of Lake city. The heart-touching story of Champak (Irrfan) and his daughter Tarika (Radhika Madan) was directed by Homi Adajania.
Irrfan plays the role of a sweet shop owner, who is involved in a feud with his cousin over the name of their respective sweet shops. A major portion of the movie was shot in Udaipur’s Chhoti Brahmapuri. The movie had some great aerial shots of Udaipur, featuring the serene Lake Pichola and the majestic City Palace. Scenes like the one where Tarika can be seen enjoying mocktails at a lake view cafe with her friends will make you want to pack your bags for Udaipur right away.
So on Irrfan’s birth anniversary, which of these movie destinations would you want to visit?