Can you miss someone you’ve never known, never met?

I have come to realise this is quite possible. Life works in mysterious ways – you don’t get the one you want, you break apart in ways you can never tell, your scars aren’t seen as pride symbols but buckets to pour sympathy in, those you love are taken away, your heart belongs with people who don’t deserve it, struggles aren’t always rewarded, honour is rare, and what you believe in, is challenged every day.

We take it, we live it, sometimes we forget it all, and other times, we let it all drive us crazy. Because no matter how hard we try, sometimes, there are no answers, logic doesn’t work, and emotions are in vain.

When I think about the last 24 hours, the heart is a madhouse of tiresome harrowing. It is home to feelings I’ve dreaded most. And no matter what I do, I can’t shake off the unbearable melancholies; most of which is a result of realising how I have no control over what happens around me, of people I love and lose, and the growing unrest is only consuming me, mind and soul.

Can the passing of a human affect me so? How and when did I get so attached? And if this feeling of loss was going to establish itself so profoundly, why didn’t I do anything about it when there was still time? Was I reckless? Did I take things for granted? Because clearly, now it’s too late. What a mess this silly heart of mine is!

The passing away of someone, anyone, is never easy; especially if you feel connected to them, physically, emotionally, virtually. Doesn’t matter what level! With the passing of Irrfan Khan; one of the most beautiful people the world has seen, a lot of things I never believed in, changed. Although I knew whenever that day comes, I’ll be heartbroken, but to look at a future without him would be so painful, I had never imagined that. Perhaps, deep down, you never want to accept the fact that one day they’ll be gone; let alone this soon.

I never knew him, never met him. All I knew of him, was from the movies he did. And one thing I have always believed in is that – if you want to know a person know what they stand for. IK was a man of few words, his heart beat differently. And you could say that, from the way he acted on screen, from the deeply evocative style of dialogue delivery, those eyes that always spoke more than he allowed his lips! And I always admired him; only immensely more each time, with sheer respect, for his nobility, his modesty. To think of it now, he always managed to touch my heart with such ardent fondness, I never knew existed for any artist.

So, yes, I didn’t know. I only ever wished to meet him. The sad truth is that, I won’t ever get to feel his sombre presence anymore, to soak in the magic of words that only he could cast, and the silver screen won’t be as shiny for me now. Because some people change your world in ways you can never say. Because you know they can never be replaced. IK will be the gem I’ll cherish forever. I have no qualms admitting I’ll be sore at heart upon the mention of his art and life.

I loathe to keep feeling like this, and even though I got to know him for a very short time, it now feels like the end of an era with his passing.

Asha Seth | April 30, 2020