Telling It All – Dil Se
I wove a story out of painful memories, writes actor Manisha Koirala, in her memoir-style book Healed: How Cancer Gave Me A New LifeBy Christina Tom Jose
Manisha Koirala needs no introduction. The artist’s rich and diverse filmography has made her a beloved icon in all corners of the country. Having acted in over 80 films in multiple languages, Koirala’s is a household name. She is now in the spotlight, with the release of her book, Healed: How Cancer Gave Me a New Life, which she has co-authored with writer and motivational speaker Neelam Kumar. The book is a memoir of Koirala’s fight against ovarian cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2012. She has now been cancerfree for six years. Detailing some of the most intense moments in her diagnosis and treatment, the book is a moving read that delves deep into some of the less-discussed aspects of fighting the disease. Not all cancer survivors start off with a brave face; there are times when everything seems to be going downhill and it’s easy to lose courage.
Koirala’s book captures such times with ease and accuracy. “My book is a result of intense soul-searching. I have plunged deep into the dark, bottomless pit of painful memories and woven a story out of them,” she writes in the preface to her book. Healed contains vivid accounts of the actress’s upbringing in Nepal, her hectic life as Bollywood’s most sought after leading lady and, most importantly, her story of recovery. Koirala does not shy away from discussing details of her personal life; her candidness is one of the striking features of the book. “Everybody knows everything, so there is no point if one is not being honest. People have their assumptions and perceptions. I knew right from the beginning that if I was going to write a book, I would write my version of the truth and then put it out there for people to decide if they will accept it or hate me,” she says. Healed is not just another survivor story that merely chronicles the experience from diagnosis until recovery. The book bounces back and forth between different phases of Koirala’s life, making it more a memoir than a story of recovery. “A lot has changed after cancer and not only in my physical body but also in the way I perceive life, the way I experience people and life and situations.
In my book, I have written how I am a work in progress. It’s not like I have found that I am perfect in every area,” she describes. The book is aptly titled, for it meticulously narrates a story of transformation and recovery, not just from a disease but from negativity, unhealthy attitudes and flawed perception. Towards the end of the book, Koirala wishes the reader to achieve “limitless human potential and rekindle your inner spirit to face every challenge life throws at you,” which is a perfect summary of the book. It explores the boundaries of the human potential, only to prove that such perceived boundaries surely don’t exist.