“This Made Me Surrender.” Irrfan Khan Opens Up About His Battle With Cancer

irrfan khan

Irrfan Khan needs no introduction. Nor does his body of work that shines bright, emanating the kind of effort and preparation that has gone in the making. What is the make made of you ask? Sheer determination and perseverance. It isn’t just on-screen but behind-the-reels, in real-life too. And his on-going battle with cancer is proof.

No one can forget the day he shared the news of his ailment- Neuroendocrine Tumour. It’s still vivid in minds because of the frenzy that followed. Fans and followers were aghast, scared of the consequences. But Irrfan, with a will of a mountain, chose to re-affirm his belief in life and God. And spent time reminiscing about poetry whilst undergoing treatment in London.

And today, he is a different man. From the initial disbelief to calm resolute, Irrfan is a man who is ‘tasting life for the first time, the magical side of it.’

As told to Anshul Chaturvedi of Times of India, the man of the moment has embraced life with all its uncertainties and it’s inspiring in ways more than one. He said,

“It’s been quite some time now since I have been diagnosed with a high-grade neuroendocrine cancer.

The suddenness made me realise how you are just a cork floating in the ocean with UNPREDICTABLE currents!”

Explaining the conundrum of life, Irrfan also divulged how you can’t control everything that happens and sometimes that’s just how it is.

I had been in a different game, I was travelling on a speedy train ride, had dreams, plans, aspirations, goals, was fully engaged in them. And suddenly someone taps on my shoulder and I turn to see. It’s the TC: “Your destination is about to come. Please get down.” I am confused: “No, no. My destination hasn’t come.” “No, this is it. This is how it is sometimes.”

He also shared an incident, the moment when he was engulfed with pain and fear he had never known.

While on one of the terrifying hospital visits, I blabber to my son, ‘The only thing I expect from ME is not to face this crisis in this present state. I desperately need my feet. Fear and panic should not overrule me and make me miserable.’

That was my INTENTION. AND THEN PAIN HIT. As if all this while, you were just getting to know pain, and now you know his nature and his intensity. Nothing was working; NO consolation, no motivation. The entire cosmos becomes one at that moment – just PAIN, and pain felt more enormous than GOD.


In another startling realisation, Irrfan also explained how he understands the cosmos better today than ever. He revealed that his hospital was on the opposite side of Lord’s stadium and it hit…

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“This made me submit, surrender and trust, irrespective of the outcome, irrespective of where this takes me.

For the first time, I felt what ‘freedom’ truly means. It felt like an accomplishment. As if I was tasting life for the first time, the magical side of it.”

He also mentioned the prayers of people and the cumulative power of it that has enriched him in this journey. The same that made him aware that the cork doesn’t need to control the current.

On this path of self-discovery, we wish Irrfan all the luck there is in the world.

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