Internationally known Bollywood star Irrfan Khan died Wednesday at 53 years old. Khan is known for his roles in Jurassic World, The Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire. He had been married to his wife Sutapa Sikdar for 25 years.
Khan died after a long battle with cancer; in 2018, he was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor, and he finally succumbed to a colon infection on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.
Khan was buried on Wednesday at the Versova kabrastan, or graveyard, in Mumbai in the presence of his family, close relatives and friends, according to a statement.
Here’s what you need to know about Khan’s wife, Sutapa Sikdar:
1. Sikdar and Khan Met at Drama School
The couple first met when they were both attending the National School of Drama in New Delhi, and they fell in love during their college days.
When speaking about those days to India Today, Sikdar discussed why her husband stood out to her.
“He was always focused,” she said. “I remember when he would come home, he would head straight for the bedroom, sit on the floor, and read books. The rest of us would be hanging around gossiping.”
2. They Got Married in 1995
After graduating from the National School of Drama, Khan and Sikdar waited to get married since they both had plans of finding employment. They had both made names for themselves in the entertainment industry by early 1995.
They decided at that point that it was time to nail down a date for their wedding, as they had both met the goals they wanted to before tying the knot.
The two wed in February 1995 in what was a simple court ceremony.
3. She Was His Harshest Critic
After getting married, Sikdar and Khan worked together on some television shows and movies, and Khan loved the fact that he could count on his wife for constructive criticism when he needed it.
“When we work together, we fight more…” he told The Bridal Box. “[But] she has a better understanding of my performance.”
They worked together from 1993 to 1997 on Banegi Apni Baat, The Bridal Box reported. Khan was a main character on the show and Sikdar was a screenplay writer.
4. They Had Two Children Together
Khan and Sikdar have two children, both boys. Babil and Ayan were two of Khan’s lights in his last years on Earth. In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, he talked about how proud he was of them.
“The best part is that I’ve had all the time literally to see them evolve,” he said. “A crucial time for a teenager, like the younger one. The older one isn’t a teenager anymore.”
Sikdar was awed by the way Khan grew into his role as a parent, and she spoke of how well he understood their children.
“The way he understands them, their mood swings and other things… It’s not just about playing football like most of the fathers do,” she said. “He understands their mind, soul, heart and understands the different approach in parenting.”
5. Khan Said Sikdar Was His Reason To Live
Throughout his sickness, Khan did not give many interviews, but when he did, he spoke of his wife as the one person who stood between his life and death. He told Mumbai Mirror that his wife was his caretaker, and if he had one chance to live, it would be for her.
“What to say about Sutapa? She is there 24/7,” he said. “She has evolved in caregiving and if I ever get to live, I want to live for her. She is the reason for me to keep at it still.”
In 2019, Sikdar wrote about their family struggles on Facebook, sharing that it had been the longest year of their lives.
“Time was never measured with pain and hope at the same time ever. While we take our babysteps back to work, to life, I am submerged in prayers wishes and faith from friends relatives strangers and a connection with the universe which gives us a small chance for this new start,” she wrote.