There is no denying that watching the always-so-versatile actor Irrfan Khan perform is an absolute visual treat. Irrfan Khan had made a mark in the world of international cinema too. This Madaari has worked in more than 50 films and TV shows in his career spanning more than two decades. Acting has been part and parcel of his life, and as Irrfan puts it, for him it is a ‘mystical experience.’ Even when choosing a life partner, Irrfan fell for his classmate Sutapa Sikdar, during his days at the National School of Drama in New Delhi. Irrfan Khan’s marriage to Sutapa Sikdar has been rock solid, and we take a closer look at their love story and life together.
Irrfan Khan – About Being The Madaari And Mr. Masrani
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A take on Irrfan Khan’s marriage is incomplete without a back story. Irrfan Khan was born on 7th January, 1967, in a well-off landlord family that ran a tyre-business. It is said that Irrfan never had interest in his family business, and instead showed inclination towards sports right at an early age. He even considered sports as a career option but back-tracked when he felt his family would not support him. He was doing his M.A. when he landed a scholarship from National School of Drama, New Delhi. That marked the foray of Irrfan Khan in the world of acting, and it was also the place where he happened to meet the lady-love of his life.
Falling In Love With Ms. Sikdar
Irrfan was still doing his M.A. in Jaipur, when he landed a surprise scholarship from the National School of Drama (NSD). As the next step to the process, he had to attend an interview at NSD in New Delhi. Irrfan had no major plans about his career ahead and therefore decided to give acting a shot and attended the interview which could land him a three year acting diploma from the prestigious institute. It is said that Irrfan gained the confidence of the interviewing panel by saying that he had worked in theatre in the past. The panel was so convinced (now that’s called being an actor!) that they immediately asked him to enrol for the course and start attending the classes.
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One day, in one of the practice acting sessions, Irrfan’s gaze fell on a student named Sutapa Sikdar, who was studying acting but was also keen on becoming a story and screenplay writer. Irrfan managed to strike a friendship with Sutapa right away, and through the course of their stay at NSD, the two became good friends. By the end of their course, they were definitely in love with each other. Since the duo were looking for employment after the programme, they decided to keep their plans of wedlock on the back-burner for sometime. But Irrfan Khan’s marriage to Sutapa was definitely on the cards.
Irrfan Khan’s Marriage To Sutapa, Life Together
By 1994, Irrfan had made his identity as an actor, and garnered decent amount of attention. The timing felt right, and therefore Irrfan and Sutapa got married in February 1995. True to the trend of the times, Irrfan Khan’s marriage to Sutapa was what is said to be a simple court marriage. Since then, the pair have been each other’s support system. In an interview, Irrfan shared that his wife Sutapa is his biggest critic, and if she says his performance is good, he blindly believes it. He has always been all-praise about his wife’s ability to discern his performances carefully, in terms of its quality.
“When we work together, we fight more… (But) She has a better understanding of my performance. She has inborn talent.”
– Irrfan Khan about his wife Sutapa Sikdar
Not many are aware of the fact that the couple has collaborated professionally several number of times. Post Sutapa and Irrfan Khan’s marriage, they worked together from 1993 to 1997 for TV shows, notable of which was the sitcom Banegi Apni Baat in which Irrfan was one of the actors, and his wife was the screenplay writer. Irrfan is known to be so precise about the storyline and screenplay that he made his wife rewrite nearly 11 episodes of the sitcom, when he was directing it. In more recent times, Sutapa Sikdar turned producer with the 2015 film Madaari starring her husband Irrfan Khan. Being his wife, she knew he would not accept a sloppy story and screenplay, therefore she worked on the story of the film along with another writer for nearly a year before approaching him. Irrfan eventually liked the story and agreed to work in the film right away.
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On the personal front, the couple are blessed with two sons, whom they named Babil and Ayaan. Sutapa once shared that in spite of Irrfan playing serious roles on-screen, he is a very comical and fun-loving person at home. She even added that he is a good parent because he puts efforts in understanding his children than just spending some obligatory time with them.
“The way he understands them, their mood swings and other things… It’s not just about playing football like most of the fathers do. He understands their mind, soul, heart and understands the different approach in parenting.”
– Sutapa Sikdar on how Irrfan is an understanding and caring father to their children
Sutapa and Irrfan Khan’s marriage is a strong marriage of the last decade. The couple resonates a practical yet passionate view about their marriage and matrimony in general. Irrfan and Sutapa once shared that they believe in a marriage where the couple can always come back to each other to share their lives and emotions. In fact, Irrfan even went far as to say that he believed that the most successful marriage is the one where a man/woman is free to sleep with anyone else (open marriage), but actually would never do so because he/she loves his spouse enough that he/she would always go back to the life partner. Sutapa summed it all nicely by saying:
“Keep re-inventing… Forget husband and wife, if every individual keeps re-inventing, then any relationship will go in a positive direction.”
– Sutapa Sikdar about marriage in general
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Those are definitely some wise and amazing words from Mrs. Irrfan Khan, and surely something worthy of noting down. It’s no surprise that Irrfan and Sutapa have had a successful run with their marriage despite all the ups and downs of life. We sign-off by wishing the couple all the best for life.