Naseeruddin Shah. Image Credit: IANS

Bollywood veteran Naseeruddin Shah has made a revelation about the demise of his friend, actor Irrfan Khan, and how the star knew what was going to happen.

Khan died on April 28, 2020, a day after he was admitted to a Mumbai hospital for a colon infection. Prior to that, in March 2018 he had revealed on Twitter that he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour. He was 53 when he died.

Irrfan Khan. Image Credit: AFP

In an interview with Indian Express, Shah said that Khan was aware he was going to pass away.

“That was a unique thing because Irrfan knew for about two years that it was going to happen,” Shah said. “I spoke to him several times over the phone even when he was in the hospital in London. It was amazing and it was a real lesson how he dealt with it. He would say: ‘I am observing death approaching me and how many people get that opportunity? To be able to see this grim reaper coming towards you and you are almost welcoming him.’”

Khan was an award-winning and critically acclaimed actor known for roles in movies such as ‘Salaam Bombay!’, ‘The Lunchbox’ and ‘Piku’. He acted with Shah on a number of movies, including ‘Maqbool’ and ‘7 Khoon Maaf’.

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“Of course, it was a terrible loss,” Shah added. “But it was not in our hands. It was just your bodily machinery shutting down. You don’t have any control over it.”

In the interview, 71-year-old Shah contemplated ageing and his own mortality.

“I have experienced several deaths of my close ones — my family, my parents. Also, some dear friends, particularly the unexpected ones — the way Om [Puri] died, the way Farooq [Shaikh] died — were terrible shocks,” he said. “But it does no good to obsess over it. I think that death is the most unimportant part of life and ironically also the most unavoidable one as well. I don’t dwell on it at all. I will go when I have to go.”