Manisha Koirala Image Credit: Supplied

From being a wife trapped in an unhappy marriage in ‘Lust Stories’ to her portrayal as Nargis Dutt in ‘Sanju’, Manisha Koirala is back and wants to make the most of it.

“This is definitely my second innings to not only my work but my life as well. And so this would be my best phase,” Koirala said. “Earlier, whatever phase I lived in, I lived not really being aware. But now I live with awareness. This is better than before time.”

The actress walked into Bollywood with ‘Saudagar’ in 1991, and went on to mesmerise audiences with her performances in films like ‘1942: A Love Story’, ‘Bombay’, ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’, ‘Khamoshi: The Musical’, ‘Dil Se..’, among others. Her career saw a dip after projects like ‘Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani’, ‘Ek Chhotisi Love Story’, ‘Paisa Vasool’ and ‘Dear Maya’.

After fighting cancer, she is now working on diverse projects, writing about her illness and inspiring people with her motivational talks.

“In a way, I am secure as an actor. But I feel there should be some kind of hunger in oneself to continue doing good work. There should be some kind of level to try to do better than before. Whether it happens or doesn’t happen is a different thing. At my end, I will work hard, be more passionate and be more dedicated,” she said.

“[Cancer] has only given me an eye to appreciate good things in life, in a sense to be grateful to this magical life and appreciate what this life gives back,” she continued. “I was about to lose my life and now I see everything with a gratitude. Whatever time I am alive, I am going to live well. I am going to give my best to take the most out of the life and share the joy with all of its pitfalls and bumps on the roads.”

Koirala was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. She gave words to her journey of coming out as as survivor with ‘Healed: How Cancer Gave Me a New Life’.

The actress’ next film is ‘Prasthanam’, in which she will playing Sanjay Dutt’s on-screen wife.

“I am pretty happy with the movie and I am looking forward to the release,” she said, adding that she is going through some “very interesting projects” and will make an announcement soon.