When Irrfan Khan passed away last year, the whole entertainment industry was shaken by the news. Since then, his son, Babil, has been communicating with fans, posting memories and photographs of his father on social media. Recently, he posted a note he got from Hollywood actor Kal Penn who had worked with Irrfan on The ‘namesake’. Penn’s message was one of love and gratitude.
In the note, Kal wrote, "Babil, I'm so moved that you reached out and it means so much to me to hear that story Thank you. The Namesake is the project I'm most proud of, the one that brought me the greatest artistic happiness...and getting to work with and know your father was such a big part of that. I think I met you and your brother in Calcutta when we were filming. I've thought of you two and your mom a lot this past year and wasn't sure how to get in touch to share my love and gratitude. It really means so much to me that you reached. Thank you! Let me know if you're ever in New York post-pandemic. And please give my love to your mom..."
Babil expressed that he was left "speechless" upon receiving the message. He wrote, "What is happening? How to write a reply when you're speechless? @kalpenn"
Irrfan Khan and Kal Penn worked together in Mira Nair’s ‘The namesake’, which released in 2007. Kal played Irrfan’s on-screen son Nikhil ‘Gogol’ Ganguli in the critically acclaimed film.
'The namesake', also starring Tabu, was based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel of the same name. The film depicted the struggles of a couple (Irrfan and Tabu), first generation immigrants of Bengal to the US and their American-born kids, played by Kal Penn and Sahira Nair.
Irrfan was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, a rare form of cancer that attacks various parts of the body. The actor went for treatment for the same in the UK. After a year of living in the UK, he returned to India to shoot for his last film Angrezi Medium. Irrfan breathed his last on April 29, 2020.