World Cancer Day 2024: Manisha Koirala & Tahira Kashyap Khurrana inspire resilience through their ‘C’ journeys

February 3, 2024
On World Cancer Day, listen to the inspiring stories of Manisha Koirala and Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, who displayed resilience and incredible courage in battling the formidable C-word

On World Cancer Day, listen to the inspiring stories of Manisha Koirala and Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, who displayed resilience and incredible courage in battling the formidable C-word, where they discuss their fight against cancer and healing journeys in ‘Healed’ and ‘My Ex-Breast’ respectively. Their journeys are supreme examples of understanding how individuals have distinct coping mechanisms to deal with their illnesses. While Manisha embraces mindfulness and practices gratitude, finding strength in being present in the moment, Tahira fearlessly confronts the disease with a positive spirit, accepting her body’s changes without allowing them to define her, thereby setting an inspiring example for others.

Practice gratitude and mindfulness: Manisha Koirala’s lesson after her fight against cancer

“The survival rate of Stage IV cancer is only 19%, according to the American Cancer Society. But I’m still here, alive. This perhaps means anybody can be in that 19% group, so please do not lose hope. Cancer is not a death sentence.”

She hopes that one day the world will be cancer-free. She thinks this is a good opportunity to remind yourself to change your lifestyle for the better, because your body may not be suffering from a disease but at dis-ease, given the frantic amount of stress one faces on a daily basis in today’s fast-paced life.

“It took cancer to make me more mindful of everything around me, taking one day at a time. Let me share some things that have worked for me positively.”

Talking of the practices that helped her get through tough times, she mentions, “Introspect, dig deep, and seek clarity; Be kind and gentle on yourself; Stay committed to change; Develop an attitude of gratitude; Develop positivity, drop negativity.”

She strongly believes in the power of mindfulness and holistic healing, expressing how delighted she is now that it is accepted by medical science worldwide now.

Baring scars and breaking barriers: Tahira Kashyap’s powerful journey of self-acceptance

Tahira recounts her experience of interacting with fellow patients on her visits to the hospital when the doctors told her that the physical aspect of cancer doesn’t do as much harm as does the mental condition of the patients along with the societal pressure. This is when she decided to share her story with the world. And then on World Cancer Day, she did what no one expected her to do.

She says, “I feel like this day is my day and I have no qualms admitting that. A few days back, at work, I asked my producer and one of India’s best photographers, Atul Kasbekar if he could take my photo.” She added, “This won’t be a regular picture, I want to celebrate my scars.”

She went ahead and removed her t-shirt to get a few pictures clicked. While she felt hesitant and self-conscious initially, she got comfortable after a few clicks. She mentions, “I know I wouldn’t have been able to do this had I not been so confident in my own skin. So, my picture, it’s me wearing denims, a topless torso, a bald head, opticals and hoops. That’s it…and oh, my scar! It runs half across my back.” This is how she broke the internet with her Instagram post a few years ago, showcasing her ensuring spirit and acceptance of her scars without letting them define her.

As we stand united against cancer this World Cancer Day, let us draw inspiration from their healing journeys and the takeaways shared by them in their audiobook and podcast on Audible.

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