Bollywood has seen several of its stars battle cancer of late but survivor Manisha Koirala is here to tell fellow warriors that better days await them.
At the launch of her book Healed in which she chronicles her struggles since she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, Manisha shared that she nearly quit on writing the memoir.
"Well, there were moments that I never ever wanted to recall in detail because even today when I think about them, I feel numb. So when I was writing the book, I struggled... I gave up in between so that I could avoid remembering them. However, my publisher was extremely supportive and I finished the book," she said.
She said belief in fate kept her going.
"At times everything falls into the right place at the right time, and destiny plays a part in making it happen. We all have our living time on the planet and no matter what we do, we will live only till that much time. When I was going through the treatment, and also afterwards, I was taking care of my body as much as possible and then I surrendered to the Almighty and said that I embrace whatever is destined.
"Since the doctor cannot confirm anything, we have to accept whatever is there in our life. Instead of feeling upset about it, I lived it through... I am living. It is life, so as long as you have it, live it," Manisha is reported to have said.
Recalling an incident, she added: "When my treatment was on, I was living in New York. One of my cousins, who was living in Los Angeles, contacted me. Earlier, we were not that close. But during this time, we were constantly in touch with each other... She passed away, and see I am alive (paused, and took a deep breath).
"It really made me think that God must have a plan and my life has a purpose. Now, I am not only healed but also found my purpose of living. I am trying to utilise my living hours in a productive manner."
Manisha believes that surviving cancer has made her a better actor: "...Winning the battle (against cancer) has perhaps made me a better performer. I know that these days, when I hear a story and read the character that I would perform, I go a bit deeper into it, I try to connect with the mind of my character, and there is certain nuance I look for."
She added, "Now when I look at a script, I do not look at the length of my role. All that matters is how substantial the character is in the narrative. I won't mind then even if it is a role of five scenes," said the 47-year-old actress.
The actress's next film is Prasthanam, in which she will playing Sanjay Dutt's on-screen wife.