Filmmaker-actor Mahesh Manjrekar did not let cancer stop him from making his directorial ‘Antim: The Final Truth’ starring Salman Khan and Aayush Sharma. He had accepted his fate and says that somewhere in the back of his mind he knew he will “survive”.
The 63-year-old cancer crusader was diagnosed with the deadly disease during the making of the film.
In a heart-to-heart chat, Manjrekar said: “I don’t know why I just accepted it. Somewhere I never thought it was cancer I thought it was overactive bladder because they have the same symptoms. I was the under the impression (of that). I was taking medicine for an overactive bladder for more than a year. Then it was not going.”
Manjrekar, who is known for making acclaimed films such as ‘Vaastav: The Reality’ and National Award-winning movie ‘Astitva’, said that chemotherapy sessions, which he took during the shoot, did not affect him as he was prepared “mentally”.
“When I went to the hospital for a cystoscopy so before the results were out somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I kind of had the diagnosis in me. I was prepared for it. So, it was not too much of a problem and by God’s grace when I went through the chemotherapy sessions it didn’t affect me as badly as it affects a lot of people maybe because mentally I was prepared for it and it did not come as a shock to me.”
Manjrekar had a positive outlook and said: “I was prepared for it… I said I would get through it.”
Shooting a big film with a vast set up and battling the disease did not take a toll on Manjrekar.
“Because I was prepared mentally… The chemotherapy was happening every 15 days… Some how I was fine with the chemotherapy.”
He added: “It was after the first cycle I started losing hair and what I did was when I started losing hair I just shaved… because I was like ‘let me not go through the trauma of looking into the mirror and see’ and I did not give it much thought and I decided that I would finish the shoot and then go for surgery because it needed a lot of time for recovery.”
“Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I will survive.”
‘Antim: The Final Truth’ will be released in theatres worldwide on November 26.
–By Durga Chakravarty