Eminent film critic Rashid Irani, a much-loved figure in the cinema circles of the city, was found dead on Monday at his residence in Mumbai. He was 74.
Irani, who had multiple health issues and lived alone, likely breathed his last on 30 July at his home in the South Mumbai neighbourhood of Dhobi Talao, according to his close friend Rafeeq Ellias.
"It is terrible news. Most likely, he passed away Friday morning while having his bath because he was (found) in the bathroom. Since Friday, he had not been seen at the press club or at his usual breakfast place. "We all thought he had gone out of town, so we waited, hoping he would be back on Sunday night. But today we got worried. We called the cops and broke the door," Ellias told Press Trust of India.
According to Ellias, Irani had not been keeping well and also had COVID last year. "He had serious blood pressure and diabetes. Around two years ago, he had a fall at the film festival in Goa. He had a haemorrhage, it was a neurological condition. This was probably something similar. He had nobody, he lived alone in Mumbai all his adult life," he added.
The official social media account of the Mumbai Press Club also tweeted about Irani's demise.
Rashid Irani, 74, one of the country's foremost film critics, passed away probably on 30 July at home. He was not seen for 2-3 days; a search by friends, club officials and police led to his home, where his mortal remains were found. #Rashidirani pic.twitter.com/vGsi2KCzxW
- Mumbai Press Club (@mumbaipressclub) August 2, 2021
"Rashid Irani, 74, one of the country's foremost film critics, passed away probably on 30 July at home. He was not seen for 2-3 days; a search by friends, club officials and police led to his home, where his mortal remains were found," the press club said in a statement.
Irani, who had contributed several articles in national dailies like Times of India, Hindustan Times and the website Scroll, was "one of the pillars of the Mumbai Press Club Film Society", the club further said in the statement.
The noted critic was a core member of the club, who didn't miss a day at the media centre writing his reviews and watching films. "He will be missed sorely by all members and staff. Details about his funeral will be announced soon," the tweet read.
Cinema personalities like directors Karan Johar and Sudhir Mishra also paid rich tributes to the late critic. Johar said Irani's insight on cinema will always be treasured.
Rest in peace Rashid¦.I remember all our interactions and conversations so fondly¦. Your insight on Cinema will always be treasured¦..🙏🙏🙏🙏 https://t.co/kWTyaQpmn4
- Karan Johar (@karanjohar) August 2, 2021
- Anil Kapoor (@AnilKapoor) August 2, 2021
Oh shit !When I came 2Bombay in d early eighties,this was the kind of Bombayite I grew to love .Gentle ,firm , held his own in a discussion but always listened. In front of him his city changed.He was in a sense like d Grandfather in Fellini's Amarcord:lost near his own house ! https://t.co/3X4Pbvrywf
- Sudhir Mishra (@IAmSudhirMishra) August 2, 2021
Irreparable loss for this city & cinema. #RashidIrani critic & curator extraordinaire passed away today.His passion for cinema was inspiring. This is the last picture we have from his 1st ever zoom call with the team just 5 days back. You will be sorely missed sir. Safe travels. pic.twitter.com/FmtOEdMz8F
- smriti kiran (@smritikiran) August 2, 2021
Few have loved cinema the way Rashid Irani did. It's been a privilege to have listened to him talk about directors and films he loved. He was also one of the few men I know with who didn't feel threatened by those who were younger than him and those who disagreed with him. RIP pic.twitter.com/eML4SIJ50R
- Deepanjana (@dpanjana) August 2, 2021
- Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) August 2, 2021
"Friends keep telling me stay +ve. I've lost all will"spend most of my day in bed, thinking at best; don't sleep well. While I live alone, I do not thrive on this loneliness. Lockdown has turned me into an automaton." Friend, film critic Rashid Irani #RIPhttps://t.co/8O4TAWAlsy https://t.co/eDMVJgH5mV
- Mayank Shekhar ¤®¤¯¤¤ ¤¶¥¤¤° (@mayankw14) August 2, 2021
Last year, Irani had spoken to Midday about feeling lonely as the coronavirus-induced lockdown had cut off his contact with people.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)