Late actor Irrfan Khan did not hail from a film background but it was his hard work and dedication to his craft that made him reach unprecedented heights in his short-lived career and life. He never complained about being an “outsider” and he did not feel the need to either because he truly believed that it is one’s work that takes them places. He remained unfettered by the nepotism debate, countless scandals and controversies that took over Bollywood from time to time. He did not come into the film industry to seek anyone’s approval but rather to make a mark on his seniors, juniors and fans and oh boy, he did! Irrfan’s wife Sutapa Sidkar has now shared a long note about the same, weighing in on how she looks at the insider-outsider debate in B-town.
Sutapa first clarified that her note has nothing to do with late actor Sushant Singh Rajput and should not be taken out of context. Addressing the ‘messiah of outsiders’, she wrote, “If you consider your work a spiritual quest you won’t be sad if people didn’t call you for their parties or did not come for your premiers. Irrfan did not get a cover page of a film magazine for many years he did not waste his time gossiping about people or bad mouthing nor did he get depressed. He chiseled his craft and refused to be part of it till he got the cover page and he did (he got mostly depressed not clinically but sad, looking at the disparity in the society) or once or twice went to a brink of breakdown preparing for roles not because so called insiders did not call him for holi parties. And yes no one dared make fun of him ever on any show or any channel.”
She added, “The point is if you are unable to sustain the indifference of the power people or understand the business of film industry and you want to continue here then you need help and talking to a therapist is not equivalent to be called mad.” Talking about her own roots, she stated, “Who is an outsider/one who comes from another state, city, caste, clan? What are roots? It’s grey, the entire area. So let’s begin with me. I live in Mumbai and I come from Delhi (outsider tick 1). I am a Bengali but I am not born in west Bengal but born in Delhi (tick 2). My roots from both the sides of my parents are very distant now, in Bangladesh which is no more a part of INDIA (that’s a large tick of being outsider). I am a Hindu married to a Muslim (I don’t know where all I put the outsider tick for this)so who am I?”
Insisting that being an outsider doesn’t make you an object of pity, she concluded, “I am about myself! I am unique! I am me! I am Indian! Hence, I kind of feel you the one who is pretending to be the messiah of outsiders who most probably is not even from the industry is putting me into a bracket and underlining for the whole world to see I am an outsider and also hence pity me?” Questioning all the self-appointed “outsiders” in Bollywood, she said, “I don’t want your patronization. Did you ask any “outsiders” if they want this intervention? Or you are self-appointed outsider’s association of India?”