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In Conversation With Manisha Koirala

Contributing writer N Penna
08/16/2018

Manisha Koirala ,the famed and beautiful actress in Bollywood talks about her battle with cancer, her support and advice to women

About her battle….

“There were times when I just wanted to give up as most of the times the treatment and the side effects were too painful to bear. It was human to do that. Many of the times I would not tell my parents as they are old and they could not bear what I was going through. And once when I shared this, it was my Mom who gave me a lot of emotional support. I remember once when I told her that I rather die than bear the pain, my mother scolded me and said this was only momentary and that I would get better soon.  She said, ‘You are brave and the strongest and you cannot give up so easily.’ My mother was always there giving me these inspiring talks,” she narrates and goes on, “So there was no choice but fight it. Actually most cancer patients want to fight it out. Some are lucky and win the battle but sadly some lose. But I was mentally prepared not to give up without a fight. I remember a friend of mine gave me pep talk and told me to take chemo as vitamin. People say that it is poison but for cancer patients it is drug that will kill cancer.” 

The shock, the truth and reality……………….

She expresses, “Actually my life has changed drastically since my treatment. I was totally jolted, now I am totally focused on keeping a strong physical and emotional self. One should be kind to oneself, one has to mindful and take responsibility of your body, not only physically but also emotionally. It is very important to have new perspective, enjoy life to the fullest, I feel one should eat intelligently. I am mindful eater, I am vegan most of the time. I now have organic garden in my terrace. Another thing I would advise is that one should not give up exercise. As I am travelling very often I do not follow one particular exercise. I either go for walks, sometimes even put on the music and dance. Do Pranayam and yoga.  I would advise 8 to 9 hours of sleep, it can be spaced including siesta and night rest. One should keep oneself happy, calm and composed , be surrounded by positive people so you automatically stay away from negativity. I go about telling to have healthy life, be in place where you are in control .Focus on your goals.  Do things that motivate you life.”

About the love and friends that cured her…………….

She says, “I stress on wellness on the whole, we human are multi-dimensional, one has to work on all our levels. I am emotional I seek so much love,  so  love and blessings of friends and my parents has kept me going. There was a time when I expected my friends to come and spend time with me, but instead unknown people who I have never met came over, love was pouring in. An unknown lady who is friend now just came by to give me emotional strength and when I questioned her intention, she said she was doing it so that I pass on the love to someone else who needs it.”

Her advice to women……..

She states, “Take responsibility of your health. Especially women, we depend on the family for support, we are always taking care but we should not ignore ourselves.”

About her aim after conquering dreadful C…….

She says, “I am a celebrity and I am either invited to cut a ribbon, inaugurate a shop or a mall. But off late, I am very cautious about whom I am supporting especially in cancer and politics I make a deliberate check. I cannot support wrong people as the result could be very dangerous. Even in politics we cannot support wrong people.”

And goes on, “I mostly work towards spreading awareness about cancer, which is my personal journey too and support a World Cancer group. Mostly I associate for the particular event like, for example the meet on Ovarian Cancer. I usually go to learn of what is happening in the fields of medicine, new treatments, the research otherwise I am not associated with anything on permanent basis.” And adds, “ I am glad that there are more survivors now as compared to 10 years ago. I am lucky and grateful that I survived the battle. I don’t think I would have survived if I was struck with this disease ten years ago.”

But cancer drugs are still out of reach for the poor……

The beautiful star explains,“ I will be meeting the Health Secretary soon to discuss how to make cancer drugs feasible for the poor. As you know cancer treatment goes on for a long period like 6 months to I year. In Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, I noticed that most patients from far off places who came to the hospital come  along with their relatives for treatment but don’t have a place to stay. Eventually I will raise this issue and do something about providing shelter. Celebrities can connect the dots while politicians and leaders can work towards this.”

The Divine intervention…….

The actress says, “I believe in destiny and believe that one can do anything to one extent, the rest one has to leave it to Divine being.  It is this knowledge that there is someone above everyone who controls our lives is so humbling, I work hard and then I surrender to life.”



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