What is it with Cancer and Bollywood? Bad news is that the dreaded disease, rated sixth as the cause of global deaths by the World Health Organisation, has lately been targeting a number of artistes from the film industry. Good news is that it has not been able to claim many of them. But just the thought that an actor or actress you have watched on screen, who has won you over with romance, comedy, action and adventure, is suffering from Cancer is enough to cause anxiety.
Just this week, the lovely Sonali Bendre returned triumphantly from New York’s Sloan Kettering Hospital where for five months she waged a cheerful, determined battle against a high-grade Cancer. There is talk that Rishi Kapoor, who is admitted to the same hospital since the first week of October, is suffering from Cancer too. But beyond tweeting that he is going on a “short leave of absence from work for medical treatment” the actor has not said anything about the mysterious illness that’s reportedly the cause for his loss of weight and graying hair.
The first actor known to die of cancer was Nargis Dutt in 1981 just before her son Sanjay Dutt’s Bollywood debut with Rocky. There have been others down the years. Notably Feroz Khan and Vinod Khanna who gave Bollywood three blockbusters in Shankar Shambu, Qurbani and Dayavan. The macho men were great friends and coincidentally but tragically died on the same day (April 29) eight years apart. Cancer also claimed ace music composer and singer Aadesh Shrivastava and stage and theatre personality Tom Alter. But it was defeated by actresses Sonali Bendre, Manisha Koirala and Lisa Ray.
Now PeepingMoon.com has heard that a dashing young Bollywood actor, who is just 37, has been diagnosed of first stage Cancer of the stomach. He’s hugely popular despite a fluctuating career, been quite a player of hearts, and is known for romantic comedies but recently gave a good account of himself in an epic period drama. Before Bollywood, he dazzled in chocolate, cola and toothpaste TV commercials. The devastating rumour has been heard by others in the industry, too. But there’s no information coming from the actor or his illustrious family known for their involvement in the performing arts. We hope, if this news is true, that this good looking guy succeeds in dancing his way around the worrisome disease. Our prayers are with him. As they are with Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan.