Irrfan’s career shows an impressively wide arc. He played everything from a dacoit to a student leader. But the one role that he craved to play was that of poet and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi.
Irrfan had a strange and enduring fascination for Sahir Saab’s poetry and when he heard a film on the life of Sahir Ludhianvi was being planned by producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali he was for the first time, openly covetous, for a part.
“Only I can play Sahir Ludhianvi,” Irrfan told me. “I have been researching on his life and poetry forever. I know the rarest of his songs.”
Do you know Sahir has written Mere dil mein aaj kya hai for Laxmikant-Pyarelal? I once asked him.
Irrfan had the grace to admit he didn’t know. He was always very honest and didn’t mind sounding ignorant if he didn’t know.I don’t know why he never got to play Sahir. But I hope no one else does. Because both Irrfan’s and Sahir’s ghosts would have to be answerable to.