India, May 2 -- They had an association spanning more than two decades. That's why it doesn't come as a surprise when Nawazuddin Siddiqui calls Irrfan Khan's demise "a huge personal loss". "He treated me like a younger brother. And for me also, he was like an elder brother and a mentor. I used to share all my problems - personal as well as professional - with him," he says.

The actor knew Khan "from even before 2000". He says: "Isliye kaafi lamba saath raha. I was very close to Irrfan bhai, so I used to be with him, or around him a lot. He was my first-ever co-star, and an actor whom I worked the most, and that includes a number of films that never even released. And it's a secret that when he recorded [audition] tapes for Hollywood films,...