If you walk into the theatre with the hope to find a new face, a new name with new expressions and new ideas, or even with an intention to attempt something new in the realm of cinema, Irrfan had the ability to make you feel satisfied. Through the non-transportable screens, he quickly developed a strange connection with the audience. I consciously stated the word 'strange' since Irrfan rose to fame at a time when we didn't expect novelty from the Hindi film industry. This was an era before the clan of 'cinema ke rakshaaks' such as Pankaj Tripathi, Rajkummar Rao, Abhishek Banerjee, Amit Masurkar, Vicky Kaushal, made their presence felt in the movie business.
If you were unable to notice the grave issue of inability to bring in new content in a big cinema, you probably didn't bother much to treat this realm as leisure time, or you would get your dosage of entertainment from the works of Manoj Bajpayee, Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee. That's why Irrfan (or the other Khan which some would call) felt like a complete refreshment with multiple attractive features that often constantly changed, based on his characters.
Despite the age differences, you could safely watch or imagine Irrfan be paired against the likes of Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Tabu or even Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Lara Dutt, and you would know that he will turn the cinematic piece into something endearing.
He never chased stardom, rather stardom chased him which he chose to ignore it if it didn't arrive with enough credibility. He was opinionated but never felt the need to share it on social media unless he wished it. He never leaned on controversies to promote his content, (a clever strategy used by directors and actors for publicity) rather he refused to see public figures, such as cricketers and actors as heroes, or role models.
Irrfan will remain something more than a memory even for people who did not know him personally. A fighter who we wished had survived his personal battle.