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Manisha Koirala: ‘There’s no substitute to hard work’

  • Published at 10:45 pm November 10th, 2018
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Manisha Koirala Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

The session took place in front of a houseful of audience who wanted to get a glimpse of their favourite Bollywood actor

Bollywood superstar Manisha Koirala talked about her book “Healed” at the third and final day of Dhaka Lit Fest 2018 on Saturday with DLF Director Sadaf Saaz. Co-authored by bestselling Indian writer Neelam Kumar, the book is due to be released in January 2019. “Healed” follows the story behind the actor’s five year battle with ovarian cancer. 

The session took place in front of a houseful of audience who wanted to get a glimpse of their favourite Bollywood actor at the AKSB Auditorium at Bangla Academy on Saturday morning.   

In the session, she talked about how she went through the five years of battling cancer and shared her struggles, confessions, disappointments, uncertainties, and lessons she learnt along the way.

She began by talking about her life and career as a Bollywood A-lister and how she got there. Then, she read excerpts from her book “Healed” and later on talked about how she first got to know that cancer was growing in her body.

She said: “When I got to know about my cancer I was at the rock bottom of my life and my work suffered for it. I got married before which did not work out and I was depressed and completely unaware that this cancer was growing inside my stomach.”     

When the “1942: A Love Story” star was asked about how she conquered both the Bollywood film industry with over 80 films and conquered cancer, she replied: “There’s no substitute to hard work.” 

At the end of the session she thanked DLF and said: “I feel really deep gratitude that Dhaka Literary Festival invited me to present my book, which is under the process of publishing and hopefully will be out in January.”

Koirala is one of India's leading film actors. Born into the prominent Koirala family in Nepal, she made her Bollywood debut with “Saudagar” in 1991, before going on to establish herself as one of the leading actors with films such as “1942: A Love Story,” “Akele Hum Akele Tum,” “Bombay,” “Khamoshi: The Musical,” “Dil Se,” “Mann,” “Lajja” and “Company.” She took a break from acting in 2012 and returned five years later with the coming-of-age drama “Dear Maya,” Netflix's “Lust Stories” and “Sanju.” 

She was appointed the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund in 1999 and 2015, and was involved in the relief work following the Nepal earthquake in 2015. She promotes causes such as women's rights, prevention of violence against women, prevention of human trafficking, and cancer awareness. 

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and has been cancer-free since 2013.