NewsMobile Exclusive | Irrfan Khan Through The Lens Of Prasanna Heggodu, His Theatre Guru

Irrfan Khan with Prasanna Heggodu at Badanwal Gandhi Ashram. Image courtesy: Prasanna Heggodu

Irrfan Khan’s passing away was mourned by the entire Indian film industry and the world at large.

On his 54th birth anniversary, NewsMobile takes a look at Irrfan Khan’s theatre life through Prasanna Heggodu, a playwright-social activist and Irrfan Khan’s Guru from the National School of Drama (NSD).

“He was my student, I used to go to National School of Drama (NSD) every year to direct plays for students and take classes. I have directed more than 1 production with him (Irrfan), he was very meticulous, very young, very different”, Prasanna said in an exclusive conversation with NewsMobile.

Irrfan Khan with Prasanna Heggodu at Badanwal Gandhi Ashram. Image courtesy: Prasanna Heggodu

During his time at drama school, Irrfan was part of several student productions. “In Laal Ghaas Par Neele Ghode, Irrfan played an intense role as the Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin”, Prasanna told NewsMobile.

“Another significant production was Fujiyama — (Prasanna Heggodu’s Indian production of The Ascent of Mount Fuji). Irrfan and all his batchmates, even his wife – Sutapa Sikdar participated. Irrfan kept talking about the production…It was a play on Soviet-era social morality”, said Prasanna.

Images courtesy: National School of Drama (NSD)

“He was the only film star with whom I had connections. I could not go to Bombay, from Naseer to Om Puri to all of them, they were batchmates or some were one year senior. But I didn’t keep in touch with them not because I didn’t want to…but because my roads were different and their roads were different. But with Irrfan and Sutapa, they kept in touch with me”, said Prasanna.

“In the last few years, he (Irrfan) wanted to do a theatre production. It didn’t work. Both of us were preoccupied…but I really liked them. Never felt like I was working with cinema people,” said Prasanna, Irrfan Khan’s Guru from the National School of Drama (NSD).

Khan acted in several Bollywood and Hollywood movies. The ‘Life of Pi’ actor’s fine acting made him one of the most recognized faces of Indian cinema in Hollywood.

The actor par excellence battled a rare form of cancer – Neuroendocrine Tumour. Khan passed away on April 29 at the age of 53, triggering an outpour of condolences.

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