Once Rishi Kapoor is back home after months of being in New York for treatment, he is likely to bounce back to action soon with a film co-starring Juhi Chawla. And he is not the only actor who has fought a serious illness like a warrior and set an inspirational example for fans to follow.
Celebrities such as Irrfan Khan and Sonali Bendre Behl have fought serious illnesses in the recent past. After undergoing treatment with courage and a smile on their face, they not only resumed work with a renewed vigour but also discussed their physical and mental struggles with their fans and followers.Rishi looked his fittest in the past few months in a recent photograph that he posted on social media from New York. Just a few days before that, he had posted: “Today I complete eight months here in New York. When will I ever get home?”
In April, his brother Randhir Kapoor had said Rishi will return to India in some months amidst reports that he was “cancer free”. Now if latest media reports are anything to go by, Rishi is likely to be back in time for his 67th birthday in September, and he may also then resume work with a yet untitled film with 1990s co-star Juhi Chawla. It is a family comedy to be helmed by debutant director Hitesh Bhatia.
Irrfan has already started shooting for his new film Angrezi Medium.
Only last year, the acclaimed actor had announced he was diagnosed with a serious ailment, and later told his fans he was suffering from a neuroendocrine tumor. He traveled to London for treatment, and in April 2019, he returned to sets of ‘Angrezi Medium’, which also features Kareena Kapoor Khan.
Last month, Irrfan said the “last few months have been on a road to recovery, a period to heal to fight the fatigue and face the reel and real world”. He said he was “taking baby steps to merge my healing with work and trying to experiment with the amalgamation of both”.
Another warrior in the industry is Sonali.Last year, she was diagnosed with what she called “high-grade cancer”, and underwent treatment in New York. She had a strong support system in her family members and friends who kept cheering her on during her struggle. In February, Sonali came back to work and shot a brand campaign. She has also been going on television shows and speaking about emerging stronger.
In an Instagram post, Sonali urged others to fight cancer like a warrior.
“Just the mere mention of the ‘C’ word brings dread in the hearts of anyone who hears it. We fear it so much that we’d rather not talk about it… which is why it’s important to have a day where we pull out the band-aid and help us deal with this disease. I was scared too, but soon realized that burying my head in the sand was not the way to deal with it.”
She said there is more to cancer “than being emotional or weak or even being called a fighter or a survivor”.
“It requires you to study it, find out what works for you and to be diligent about your treatment. It requires days of strongly believing in oneself, of knowing that tomorrow will be better than today. It is not a fight against negative thoughts,” she added.
Writer-director Tahira Kashyap, wife of actor Ayushmann Khurrana, was also detected with pre-invasive breast cancer last year. Back in September 2018, she shared unexpected news with her thousands of followers on Instagram that she was detected with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) in her right breast with high-grade malignant cells. She has got back to work as she just directed a music video featuring her brother-in-law Aparshakti Khurana.
There is also Lisa Ray, who in 2009, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. In 2010, she made a public announcement saying that she had a full stem cell replacement and was cancer-free, but was not fully cured as this disease is treatable but not curable. She likes to call herself a ‘cancer graduate’, and often talks about how she battled her ailment with a positive mindset so that she can inspire others.
In May this year, she launched her book Close to the Bone.
Actress Manisha Koirala was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. She has articulated her journey as a survivor in ‘Healed: How Cancer Gave Me a New Life’, and was seen in ‘Sanju’. Just earlier this month, she announced: “Starting a film…another exciting journey begins. Feel blessed.”