Indian actor Irrfan Khan and Oscar-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya were honored at the Academy’s In Memorium segment at the Oscars Awards in Los Angeles on April 25. Long before Priyanka Chopra Jonas invaded the West, it was Khan who showed them the way by appearing in Hollywood projects such as ‘Life Of Pi’, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘The Namesake’ and ‘Inferno’. Khan died in April last year after his battle with neuroendocrine tumors. Athaiya put India on the cultural map by winning the best costume design in 1982 for ‘Gandhi’. Actress Frieda Pinto, who worked with Khan on the Oscar-winning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, was tasked with overshadowing Khan’s formidable active career. “There was simply no one like Irrfan Khan. “His grace and dignity and his monumental talent as an artist, actor – a depiction of humanity in all its forms and forms – not only made me deeply admire him, but I also instinctively wanted to follow the grace in my career,” wrote Pinto. This is not the first time that Academy has given a nod to Khan. After his death last year, The Academy tweeted: Irrfan Khan has left a pillar of Bollywood theater and incredible talent in films such as ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘The Namesake’. As an inspiration to millions, he will be greatly missed. ”
In an exclusive interview with Gulf News just before his swan song ‘Angrezi Medium’ released in the UAE cinemas, Khan reminded everyone to accept life. “I tell life: ‘Laugh Jaa Gale Ki Phir Yeh Haseen Shaam Ho Naa Ho, Shayad Is Janam Mein Mulaqaat Ho Na Ho [Embrace and hug me life, for your never know if we will ever have this magical evening like this or not, Perhaps we may meet or never meet again in my lifetime], ”Says Khan, referring to the iconic romantic song sung by Lata Mangeshkar that encompasses the weaknesses of life. Other stars honored include legends such as Sean Connery, Diana Rigg, Helen McCrory and Chadwick Boseman.