Happy birthday Emraan Hashmi: How the actor inspired all with his fight against son’s cancer
Actor Emraan Hashmi has been an inspiration to many in his fight against his son’s cancer. On his birthday today, here’s a look at all the inspirational things he said during that difficult period of his life.Updated: Mar 24, 2020 10:48 IST
Actor Emraan Hashmi, who turned 41 on Tuesday, is often called the ‘serial kisser’ of Bollywood. The actor began his career working with his filmmaker uncles Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt. The actor made his debut with Raaz in 2002 and went on to work in a number of hit thrillers such as Murder (2004), Zeher (2005), Aashiq Banaya Aapne (2005), Kalyug (2005), Aksar (2006), and Gangster (2006).
The actor went on to work in other successful films like The Dirty Picture (2011) and Murder 2 (2011) and won acclaim for his work in films like Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010) and the political thriller Shanghai (2012). In recent times, he has made a comeback of sorts appearing in much-talked about web series -- The Bard of Blood, film The Body and will soon be seen with Amitabh Bachchan in Chehre. The actor, of course, has great connections in the film industry -- Mahesh Bhatt is his maternal uncle while director Mohit Suri, actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt and actor Alia Bhatt are his cousins. Emraan’s maternal grandmother and Mahesh Bhatt’s mother were sisters.
Despite all the limelight the actor had been enjoying in his career, a massive setback was awaiting -- in January 2014, his three-year son Ayaan was diagnosed with stage one cancer. The little boy had to endure chemotherapy and recovered. However, Emraan’s posts and interviews from that period, reflect how the actor and his family coped with this crisis. They give a peek into the mind of a father and a care giver. They showed how hard it was for a parent to come to terms with this. However, Emraan emerged from this harrowing experience more reflective about life and more giving.
Five years after their struggle against the dreaded disease, Emraan had shared an emotional post, expressing his joy when Ayaan was finally declared ‘cancer-free’. He had written: “Today, 5 years after his diagnosis Ayaan has been declared cancer free. It has been quite a journey. Thank you for all your prayers and wishes. Love and prayers for all the cancer fighters out there, hope and belief goes a long way. You can WIN this battle!” Emraan posted on Twitter alongside three pictures of him and his son.
Today, 5 years after his diagnosis Ayaan has been declared cancer free. It has been quite a journey. Thank you for all your prayers and wishes. Love and prayers for all the cancer fighters out there, hope and belief goes a long way. You can WIN this battle !!! #thekissoflife pic.twitter.com/sp3gySFjbS— Emraan Hashmi (@emraanhashmi) January 14, 2019
The family’s struggle had inspired Emraan to write a book on the subject, called The Kiss of Life: How A Superhero and My Son Defeated Cancer. Speaking about how they found out about the disease, he had said in a statement: “We thought it (the tumor) was putting on weight and I think the first thing we felt was a feeling of guilt. He was 3 years 10 months then and we’ve made the choices for this kid and where did we go wrong?” Emraan had been guilt-ridden as a father to not see it coming.
In 2016, there had been reports that the actor would be part of a TV show on cancer. A source had told Hindustan Times that choice of Emraan was obvious as he had “knowledge and the sensitivity to talk about the subject, given his personal experience”.
Emraan had spoken evocatively about how his son took the whole experience. He had said that being a child, ignorance had been a bliss. He had told HT in another interview in 2014: “At times, ignorance is bliss. Kids being kids, they don’t have the baggage of fear about the term cancer. My only worry was that it would impact him psychologically. Scars were never a problem, it was the ailment that we were trying to tackle, and he has sailed through it.”
About his son had taken the surgery and its aftermath, he had said in the same interview in 2014: “Now that Ayan is back home, he shows his extended family and friends the scars on his body from the surgery and chemotherapy, and often tells them ‘all this will go away, as I’m growing bigger and stronger’.”
Cancer is a life-changing experience but if it happens to so young a life like a -year old, it can completely change a human being’s response to life.
In an interview to PTI back in 2016, he had said that it was son who was responsible for transforming him as a person. He had said how his son’s illness had given birth to a new person. “Ayaan has given birth to a new me. He made me a better person and taught me that life will hit you, it will knock you down on the floor but you have to get up, stumble, fall again and then get up but never give up.”
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