Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhry, who burst into the Bollywood scene with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Pardes’, has been diagnosed with breast cancer and she spoke about her battle with the disease in an earnest video shared by her colleague Anupam Kher.
In the seven-minute-long video, Chaudhry is visibly vulnerable as she talks about how she started weeping when her oncologist suggested chemotherapy.
“When I started crying, my sister reprimanded me for behaving like a 17th century woman. We are just so terrified of the word ‘cancer’. I didn’t share it with my parents because they are so vulnerable,” said Chaudhry, breaking into tears.
“But if you catch it early, it’s treatable,” said Chaudhry. Her breast cancer was detected when she went in for her annual medical check up.
The actress, who was destroyed after learning about her disease, claimed that it was the other women who were battling cancer that helped her pick herself up. A young boy’s fierce courage as he got powerful medicines infused into his tiny body also reminded her that life is precious and fleeting.
“There were many women who went straight to work after their chemotherapy because they didn’t like to sit at home idle ... I was not the brave one, my sister and friends were the brave ones. I was weeping,” said Chaudhry.
It was during one of her chemo sessions that she got a call from Kher who was in the United States just like her. He wanted her to be a part of his next film, but she called him later revealing her cancer diagnosis.
“I told him over the call that I have lost my hair and that I had just gone through treatment. I just want you to be OK with me wearing a wig,” said Chaudhry, struggling to maintain composure. It was Kher who told her that she can skip the false hair too.
The video, posted by Kher, seems to be his way of expressing his support to all the cancer survivors who don’t feel comfortable with their receding hair or bald head.
“Story of Mahima Chaudhry’s courage and cancer. I called Mahima Chaudhry a month back from US to play a very important role in my 525th film ‘The Signature’. Our conversation turned to her discovering that she has breast cancer. What followed is in this candid conversation between us. Her attitude will give hope to so many women all over the world. She wanted me to be part of her disclosing about it. She calls me an eternal optimist but dearest Mahima.”
He described her as his biggest hero in the video.
“You are my hero! Friends, send her your love, warmth, wishes, prayers and blessings. She is back on sets where she belongs. She is ready to fly. All those producers/directors out there! Here is your opportunity to tap on her brilliance! Jai ho to her,” said Kher.
Chaudhry also revealed that she didn’t have any symptoms.
Actors including Mamtha Mohandas, Sonali Bendre, Chavvi Mittal,and Manisha Koirala have all battled cancer.