At his apartment in Oshiwara, no guests were ever made to feel “unwanted”. While publicists grew restless, Irrfan would walk visiting journalists all the way to the elevator after interviews, and offer a final wave just as the doors closed. His previous residence
in Madh Island, serene and close to nature, more aptly matched the actor’s wandering-Bedouin spirit. Although he attained big success with Hindi films including The Amazing Spider-Man, he largely stayed away from the popular glare.
The eldest son in a comfortable family that descended from the Nawabs of Tonk, he was raised in Jaipur. The films of Dilip Kumar and Naseeruddin Shah piqued his interest in cinema, and against his parents wishes, he stole off to the National
School of Drama (NSD) to study acting. After playing an assortment of parts in television, his big break came with Hansal Mehta’s The Warrior.
The commerce of acting rarely interested him. He said he lost money when he took up Hollywood films, paying almost 60 percent of his earnings in taxes abroad, and getting further taxed on the residual 40 percent back in India. But a thirst for variety in opportunities kept his one foot in Mumbai and another in Los Angeles. He was committed to the craft of acting, often staying awake until 3 am going through scripts, watching DVDs, and making notes. He searched relentlessly for that elusive "entry" into each character. For The Namesake.
In pathos and humour alike, Irrfan relied on understatement. A good actor, according to Irrfan, submitted
to the moment but still kept an eye on which light was on him. “You go through the emotion but you’re also detached from it. So there is both a person and a partition.”
His free time was spent revelling in simple joys — listening to Jim Morrison songs, playing cricket, and flying kites just as he did during his carefree boyhood in Tonk. The stylish way he used to roll his own cigarettes, his tendency to quote Bertolt Brecht, the musicality in his walk, and his bookish preoccupation with languages set him apart from other stars. Deepika Padukone, his Piku co-star, has attested to his magic often, calling him her favourite co-star. The man of few words would have approved of her online tribute. To convey her sense of loss on Instagram, Padukone posted a blank picture.