Rupa Publications to publish IRRFAN KHAN: THE MAN, THE DREAMER, THE STAR by Aseem Chhabra


The incredible story of one of the finest Indian actors of our generation.

An actor whose eyes narrate a sea of stories.

Irrfan Khan is a gentle dreamer with arresting eyes, a towering presence and an illustrious filmography. Most of us know the man only through the characters that he has played: Roohdaar in Haider, Maqbool in the eponymous film, Rana in Piku, Saajan in The Lunchbox, and of course, Ashoke in The Namesake. Today, these characters have made him a recognized name around the world.

Irrfan Khan is an intimate and meticulously researched account of this refreshingly unique and unconventional Indian icon. Drawn from personal interviews and told through many voices, Aseem Chhabra traces Irrfan’s personal and artistic life in all its many shades. Rich in detail and peppered with anecdotes, it is a fascinating look at the life and work of the actor that begins in a small household in Rajasthan and culminates in his face gazing down from billboards in Hollywood. It explores some of his greatest performances that have shown India and the world what cinema can do.

At the heart of this story, however, is a man, possibly the finest actor of his generation, his passion for the craft of acting and his love for unusual characters.


ASEEM CHHABRA is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed books, Shashi Kapoor: The Householder, the Star (2016) and Priyanka Chopra: The Incredible Story of a Global Bollywood Star (2018). A film journalist, freelance writer and film festival programmer in New York City, he has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mumbai Mirror,, The HinduHindustan Times, The Indian Express, Outlook, BBC, Quartz, Scroll and Newslaundry; and has been a commentator on Indian cinema and popular culture on NPR, CNN, BBC, CBC, ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’, Associated Press and Reuters.

Aseem is the festival director of the New York Indian Film Festival. He has also programmed Indian, Asian and international film festivals in Bengaluru, Pittsburgh, Malta and Macao. He is the voice of Shadow Puppet #1 in director Nina Paley’s award-winning animated film, Sita Sings the Blues.

Aseem is from Delhi, lives in New York and visits India often.

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