Manisha Koirala Cancer Actress Bollywood Image Credit: Verve
Manisha Koirala Cancer Actress Bollywood Image Credit: Verve

Actor And Cancer Crusader Manisha Koirala On How Life Changed After Her diagnosis

She faces each day with her trademark wide smile, despite having ridden the rollercoaster that being diagnosed with ovarian cancer brought in its wake. Seen earlier this year in Sanju and Lust Stories, Manisha Koirala has come to terms with the changes that have occurred in her mind, body, lifestyle and social circle. Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena pens her story — in the actor’s own words.

Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena

The worst things — health and relationship breakdowns — have peppered my life. What I have learnt, especially after this illness hit me in 2012, is that I have the choice to decide how to take things that happen to me. To give you one example, I have a beautiful terrace upstairs. I returned to my home in Mumbai from Nepal (where I am from) to find it ruined and all my plants destroyed. I broke down. But after a couple of days, I realised that perhaps something good could come out of it. And now I have decided to build a yoga room there.

Prior to being afflicted with cancer, I did not care about my health. I led an unhealthy life and was a workaholic. If I focused on something, I needed to do it to the last detail. But that attitude can sometimes backfire; for we need to have a sense of balance. We women are not trained to look after ourselves — either we are always looking after our families or concentrating on our work. Now, I request every woman, including my mother, to focus on herself first. Stop doing stuff for your kids, husbands and everyone else. Only if you are okay can you do things for others.

I have redefined the term ‘selfish’. Looking after oneself is important and this includes both the physical and emotional aspects. It is okay to be sad. We are multidimensional beings. The emotional aspect matters a great deal to me. It pulls me down and manifests itself in my body. So, I now emphasise that it is perfectly fine to

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