The strength to cope is within us: Emraan Hashmi

Emraan Hashmi opens up about his son's battle with cancer and the toll it has taken on him and his family.

Emraan Hashmi has been to hell back. In 2014, his only son was diagnosed with cancer. In this interview, the actor expresses the anguish of a father with an ailing child:

Mr Bachchan has written your son a letter congratulating him for his brave battle against cancer?
Yes, our son Ayan will understand the importance of something like this when he grows older. Of course he watches Mr Bachchan’s films on television. He knows who he is. Ayan was ecstatic about the letter.

Where did you find the strength to cope?
I guess this strength is within us, waiting to be used when urgently needed. When someone so close to you falls ill, you have no choice but to be strong. The struggle goes on for years in an illness like this. We are still not out of danger since the cancer has a chance of recurring for five years.

How is Ayan doing now? Are things still stressful?
Not as much as before. The first two years after the treatment is very crucial. Chances of recurrence are high. Ayan was undergoing tests every three months. Like I said in my book, we actually survived on hope. Chemotherapy doesn’t always work. Children don’t know what the fear of death is. They live in the present. That’s how our son fought his illness.

Why did you choose to write the book on his illness?
It was therapeutic. After watching a four-year-old battle it out with his illness I’ve become stronger. In comparison, my day-to-day problems, my work-related stress, they all seem so trivial.

Does your career matter less to you now?
Hits and flops seem so transient when I saw all those kids battling their illness when Ayan was in hospital. As grownups, we often abuse our bodies, smoke, drink and destroy our immunity system. But what do children do to deserve this?

You had also recently lost your mother?
She had a liver cancer. It’s like a death sentence for someone who’s 70. The irony is, she didn’t die of the cancer. She suffered a stroke.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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