• 06 Apr
    Oyindrila Basu

    Emraan Hashmi-a Superhero for his son Ayaan to fight against cancer

    emraan hashmi son ayaan hashmi

    “Then listen to me very carefully. It will take some time, but once we are done, you are going to become better than Iron Man! You will be Ayaan Man!”- Emraan Hashmi.

    Who was going to get ‘better’? Why? And how? Is there anything in the world called a superhero?

    There is a saying in Bengal- bishwase milaaye bostu, torke bohudoor (If you have faith you can materialize things, else arguments can be endless)

    Emraan Hashmi played his life’s biggest role of being the faith provider for his 4-years old son Ayaan, who was diagnosed with Wilms' tumour, a type of cancer that affects the kidneys and typically occurs in children.

    We had discussed in a previous article how we can fight cancer by personifying it as the super villain and imagining self as a super hero, who needs to defeat the villain with full scores. This is what the ‘Murder’ actor progressively did for his son. It is amazing to note how a parent takes hold of a precarious situation, and putting his own emotions and worries behind, he keeps fighting to keep his child in high spirits.

    The unusual kind of cancer is named after a German doctor, Max Wilms, who wrote one of the first medical articles about the disease in 1899, mostly found in children of African breed.

    #EmraanHashmi tricked his son into believing that he was Batman (knowing fully well that Ayaan was in fond of #Batman and would believe whatever he said) and advised Ayaan that he should fight and undergo special sessions which will give him super powers and he will soon become better than any other superhero. This was his attempt to convince his son, that the chemotherapies that he would have to undergo, were not some kind of medical treatment but a magical process of gaining super powers, with which he can fight the devil Cancer.

    He believes that a person who lives his life with responsibility and high head is the biggest superhero.

    There had been critical surgeries and therapies for curing the kid, some in India, some in South Africa, the actor had cancelled several shoots of the film #Mr. X for getting his son the best treatment possible, however, he never allowed the tension and stress to appear on his exterior self, so that his son could have the best mental health during the physical pain.

    “Ayaan's cancer was my life's biggest hurdle. Suddenly, I had to prove to myself that I had in me the stuff that my role models were made off. I had to be Superman, in my own little way. I had to not just fight away the enemy that threatened my son's life, but also prove my mettle professionally... But the real hero was my son... Kids like him are made of sterner stuff than we adults are. They battle the disease one day at a time for months, sometimes years, enduring pain and sacrificing their moments of childhood that will never come back...”, Emraan Hashmi.

    When #KissingKing gets a kiss of death, it is sure to be a huge mental setback for him, especially when his four-year old kid gets affected by it.

    Patience is the best medicine for having a deep cure for a disease. Control over emotions; maintaining calm become really important for fighting serious situations like cancer in family. Hashmi has proved that he is the best actor, the best role model for his son. Ayaan derives the strength from his father to combat the nasty fangs of the tumour. We salute both father and son and wish them all the best for being such a sport in the face of life’s adversities.

  • 04 Apr
    Oyindrila Basu

    Pratyusha Banerjee-Could Her Depressed Mind Be The Cause Of Her Suicide?

    pratyusha banerjee



    #BalikaVadhu -Kacchi umar ke pakke rishte on Colours TV brought a huge flood of new talent who got a golden opportunity to portray their talent and ability on the screen, and in a short span of time became the heart of every joint family in India. Especially the character of Anandi was loved by the nation as a daughter to be taken proud of. Avika Gaur swore to success as a child artist but grew up the process of the serial which really ran long, and after that there was a leap, after which the plot structure was to change. Now Anandi is a grown up girl and there was enough speculation on who could be the new face for Anandi; who could successfully carry down the legacy of a phenomenal and popular role in the family drama? Finally, the nation chose its daughter again; a new Bengali girl was voted by the audience to play new Anandi who appeared naïve, innocent yet intelligent. Yes, she was none other than the girl next door figure, Pratyusha Bannerjee from Jamshedpur.

    Colours TV had given her all that she required as a person who desires growth and success. She was a star overnight. After this, she joined one season of #BiggBoss, which gave her many more friends and foes and she was popular again due to the TRP of the show. She has done several other reality shows and ramp walks, and has enjoyed the limelight on her as long as she was there. She had a huge fan following. Her colleagues and friends admired her sprightly nature; they claimed she was full of life. She was a high social network enthusiast and her twitter and Instagram accounts were always flooded with new updates that were lively and cheering. Then what happened that we encountered the shocking news on the 1st of April? What caused this young and tender girl of 24, to decease herself? The nation was in shock. Big names brooded over the fact; everyone felt it was April fool’s day and may be this was some kind of a big joke, joke from the Almighty; we just couldn’t accept it. Pratyusha was found hanging from the ceiling in her apartment.

    The press and public are in anxiety, the case appears to be that of a suicide, though rumours are that it could not be so simple and convenient. There could be some heinous story behind it.

    For now, we need to think over, why a young successful girl was pushed towards ending her life?

    Apparently she was going through some problems in her relationship with Rahul Raj Singh, with whom she was to get married soon. A few months back she had accused a few guys for molesting her as cops. Her colleagues and friends remember her as the jovial fun loving girl but they have reported that she had cut off all links with them for quite a long time.

    Dr Shyam Mithiya, MD, DPM, Consultant Psychiatrist, Sexologist and Counsellor told #Catch “If a person has cut down interacting with those people around. He/ she has stopped interacting the way he/ she used to and if there's a drastic downfall in the kind of interaction he/ she used to do earlier, it is a 200 per cent sign of the fact that the person is suffering from depression".

    As for a celebrity, it could be even more serious as they are prone to communicating with more and more people all the time and enjoy exchange of ideas, being the media scoop, they get used to communications; so when such a personality shuts herself from everyone it means something is utterly wrong, she is not well; her mental health is gravely affected.

    For a few weeks, her twitter had mournful indicative messages which implied double meaning about what she was going through, “Marke bhi tujhse moonh na morenge” (will not turn away from you even after I die) only explains her morose state of mind.

    Dr. Mithiya continues to explain about the psychology behind social network posts and updates,

    "A person only puts out something as his/her WhatsApp status or on a social media platform when he/she relates to it. This also shows that the person wants others to know about his/ her status of mind".

    Even if a person is posting songs or lyrics as a status on Facebook or Twitter, it means he or she relates to it at that point of time, and probably the lyrics best describes his/her momentary situation.

    He also explains how a person living away from family in a hectic stressful environment can go through. He or she doesn’t have a medium to vent their feelings and emotions. No one around to discuss the problems. Gradually he or she develops a kind of anxious approach to his/her work environment, no one in the entertainment world cannot be trusted according to him/her. This can be even more frustrating for an individual.

    If Pratyusha actually hung herself, there could be something more than “normal stress”, explains the psychiatrist.

    "This is a wake up calm to families and friends who don't consider depression a medical condition. The death of this young star only reiterates the need to spread awareness about depression,” tweeted famous director, #KaranJohar after this heart-rending incidence.



    Responses 1

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 19, 2017 09:09 AM

      I have not known Pratyusha Banerjee though, until the news came that she had committed suicide. For someone like me, this story is informative about how poular she was, as an actor and also how no one could reconcile with her death. As she was a jovial person.  Sometimes I feel that these celebrities need to hide what is going through in their lives as the people might publicise it in a wrong manner thereby causing distress to them. It should be realised by each and every human being that no one has the right to undergo suffering irrespective of caste, age or gender. One should try and get out of it. But for that the most important step is to not be judgemental about stuff. If a person comes to you for help, he/she comes to find a solution out of it. Judgements will make them feel more inferior about their situation. It is disappointing that people fail to consider depression as a severe problem. This awareness still has a long way to go.

  • 01 Apr
    Oyindrila Basu

    Sai Bakery-Baked With Love.

    sai bakery

    Dear Sumithra Ji,


    I have been hearing about Sai Bakery for quite some time now, and the reason why I was initially enthusiastic about your enterprise is because I am a baker myself and love to make homemade chocolate cakes, brownies, fruit and nut cookies etc.

    But my stock of works took a halt when I found that your son bakes some of the most innovative items like the red muffins and blondies (which ofcourse I saw in one of the inspiring videos of Sai Bakery on You Tube) I truly believed that I could be a part of this “yummy exercise” as prescribed by you, as I want to do something big, something creative. I also found that Sai is the only bakery that produces over 25 eggless varieties of whole wheat, multigrain and butter free cookies.

    Though my physical self is often pulled back due to my distorted limbs, but I have not let my spirit be chained. I want to identify myself as one of the productive social individuals like anyone else, despite the fact that due to my 10 years old operation, my movement is restricted by a wheel chair, and I often tend to forget things, I exactly do not know, what syndrome can be allotted to my disability, and I do not even wish to know, because as I am reading more and more about you, I have started believing, that once I join your mission, there will be no ‘dis’ of abilities, rather they will be transformed to special abilities, with which I can learn something new, something fruitful and make most out of the beautiful life that I have by God’s grace.

    Sai Bakery is an inspiration for the society, for common people, that each one of us has a responsibility towards society and lending out a helping hand can help persons with special abilities, identify their worth and utilize their talent for doing something good, which will not only help them learn something productive but also ensure their economic foothold.

    Since the unfortunate event of my life, I have been trying to inspire myself with stories and articles of emerging heroes like Judy Collins (fighter of polio), and the next person to give me new hope is you.

    The way you encouraged your son, Srinivasan to set up something which he dreamt for, you allowed him to “bake”, and supported him, so that he could infuse the dream in others as well, is commendable. In such situations, parents in India, ignore what a growing specially-abled kid is saying. The society feels that they do not have the “intellectual quotient” to determine what life is, but you ignored Sri’s Asperger’s syndrome, and not his will power and the result is Sai bakery.

    Today grown up adults with short learning capabilities do not feel that they are lacking somewhere from the general mass, because your mission has invited these special people with encouragement to create a world for themselves, where they can learn, work and earn for themselves with due self-respect. The money is not important, the immense confidence that it imparts to people like us, is priceless.

    We need special care and attention to survive, but our families are often tired of bearing with us, as the society generally calls any kind of physical or mental disability as a stigma, and they either show sympathy, or disrespect towards us. We may be different from the mass, but we are human like everyone else in the society and we want to live, proudly, happily and I am glad Sumitra Ji, that your initiative gives this opportunity to atleast some.

    When I see Shoma on the videos, when I find her recycling the plastic bottles and papers into beautiful flowers and decoratives for the cakes, that too while moving on a wheelchair, I believe your words,

    We are not a regular bakery. We make products when we get orders and deliver them fresh. Our aim is not to earn profits but to empower and give a sense of respect and individuality to these adults who have been often ignored even by their own families,” and I wish I can do the same someday.

    Sai bakery definitely doesn’t look like a bakery, but more like a ‘canopy’, a love nest, where you are bringing up a family with growing adults, and the institute not only fulfils their economic need, but more significantly their special needs, social, emotional and psychological needs.

    Baking is just a part of engaging them in activities, but you look towards complete self-development of an individual with your special yoga, exercise classes, and spiritual development as well through prayer sessions. Today, the ones who lack so called “intellectual quotient” actually know what to do, because of you.

    sai bakery

    Today your family members, Babu, Anand ji, Sharmini Ji and Shoma, really inspire me a lot, some of whom are fighting with severe diseases like cerebral palsy, autism and retardation, but never express it on their face or in their work. Envisioning them gives me courage, I feel I am much more blessed and can easily overcome my weaknesses with your support.

    Sai bakery started as a neighbourhood initiative in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, in 2013 supported by DORAI (Development Opportunities Resources Access Insight) Foundation, to socialize the specially-abled adults, when you felt that,

    We all have dreams, but to make them come true, it takes a lot of effort. When my son Srinivasa expressed his desire to set up a bakery, it was imperative that we supported him to work towards achieving it,” and eventually in the process, you have been a wonderful mother, a wonderful entrepreneur, and helped fulfil dreams of many individuals, by giving us a hope, a true support to rejuvenate our spirit, so that we can live our lives on our own terms.

    Today you are successful in your aim. Not only have you initiated the removal of stigma from special ability, but have also succeeded in spreading an awareness and sensitivity in society, such that many like me, know about you and want to join you, and many from their hearts praise you and salute you for doing something so noble.

    Sai bakery will continue to grow, and will help others grow with their abilities, and I will be really honoured if I could join your mission and give you the taste of my cakes.

    Baked with love,

    An ardent admirer with special abilities.

    References: 1 2 3


    Responses 1

    • Oyindrila Basu
      Oyindrila Basu   Sep 04, 2016 09:21 PM

      Thank you, for organizing something so great for the society, and also that you found sometime to read through and encourage our efforts in creating awareness about good mental health.

  • 24 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    Bollywood affects positively in removing social stigmas on disability.

    priyanka chopra in barfi



    Bollywood is a wide platform which is significantly responsible for affecting the society in positive or negative way. When we see our superstars on silver screen, we appreciate their good looks, their characteristics, or if we say correctly, the good traits of the character they portray, we get influenced, thus we gradually idolize them.

    So whatever we see our actors doing, we appreciate it as good. The lessons the movie give; we try to learn from them.

    The grandeur of the screenplay in Bollywood generally attracts our senses, and affects us psychologically, such that we are forced to believe the ideologies shown in the movies.

    So it is important for filmmakers to realize that they have a strong duty and role towards society and take special caution in what they are preaching or promoting.

    Fortunately, filmmakers these days are involving their intellect in making such beautiful realistic cinema, which not only entertains us and gives us 3 hour’s relief and self-time with our stars, but also addresses serious social and psychological issues, which can modify our attitude towards various beliefs.

    One such factor is celebrating physical or mental disability on screen.

    In the recent years there have been several movies which are inspiring and rejuvenating and have changed our mind set towards physical challenges and people with special abilities.

    Films like Barfi, Taare Zameen Par, Black, Guzaarish and Magharitta with a Straw (shows autism)have not only been successes at the box-office, but they have contributed positively, in changing the social attitude towards specially-abled people.

    Barfi (2012) brought a fresh air of new romance on screen with the unusual love saga of a deaf and mute boy Barfi and an autistic Bengali girl Jhilmil, who never grew up. The film doesn’t mock the abilities of these characters by showing any kind of sympathy, infact, their typical characteristics have been used to derive humour which is good for mental health. We find how Barfi uses his body language to amuse people, and how his caricatures manage to make a normal girl Shruti fall in love with him. Later Jhilmil falls in love with Barfi, due to her emotional dependency on him, and by looking at it we know, that they are also humans, they have the same emotions, they may not be able to think as fast as we do, but they breathe the same air, they feel the same instincts. They have the right to love and be loved. Especially, when our young heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor plays the role of the deaf boy, the character no longer remains unacceptable even to the most orthodox people, who believe disability is a crime. Instead we develop a special awareness for the particular issue and learn how to take care if we ever meet a person like them.

    Acting has immense power. With its strength and intensity, one can make you believe ought as not, and not as ought. And it is good, that the scope of cinema has changed. It has moved out of family dramas, and is trying to create something which will entertain as well as give food for thought.

    guzaarish hrithik roshan

    Guzaarish (2010) depicts the life of a wonder magician, who is finally bound by a wheelchair due to an accident in one of his shows, and hence files a petition at the court so that he can be allowed to end his life. What is significant is that, even after this unfortunate setback, he lives with a royal spirit, his voice dictates like a King to his governess. His musical sense doesn’t fall anyway behind Mozart, and he continues to enjoy life with positivity as long as he is living. When it comes to death, there also he wants to rule, he wants to be the decider for death, rather than succumbing to a suffering fate.

    Hrithik Roshan becomes an ecstatic figure which recreates the notions of love and life.

    We cannot deny, that one of the reasons why these movies turn out to be successful is because, it manages to draw the sympathy of common audience, who love their stars, and when they find that he is a disable character on screen, positive sympathy and congeniality automatically generates in the vision, and we start loving the character more, and consequentially end up appreciating the film, and its concept.

    But there is no harm if the USP of stars can be utilized to promote something valuable for human beings. Such a form of sympathy is good, if it can infuse an awareness about physical and mental challenges.

    taare zameen par amir khan ishaan

    In Taare Zameen Par (2007), Amir Khan identifies the special learning abilities of Ishaan, as Nikumbh Sir, and treats him differently, while others in his school generally coax him and punish him, because of his inability to accustom to regular curriculum (he suffered from Dyslexia). This in turn, is a lesson for all teachers, that they should not measure every child under same parameters. Each child is different and has different abilities, it is the duty of the teacher to identify them, and give special care if required, for growth and development of the child.

    No longer, failing in maths is a taboo or stigma in high schools, thank God! Or thanks to Amir. 

    u me aur hum

    U me Aur Hum (2008) broadly highlights the issues of a significant mental disability, and the consequences that one might have to face, if he or she is suffering from Alzeimer’s disease. Yet Piya’s husband Ajay is the strength and backbone, who loves his wife so much, that inspite of her drowning their child into the tub, he understands, he supports his wife till the end, and whenever she forgets, he uses a unique way to remind her of their relationship, which is really interesting and inspiring.

    Not only couples, but society in general understands that people with special abilities, need understanding, patience, love and special care. You cannot stigmatize them, or throw them away from your family, they are not responsible for what they are, they want to win over their shortcomings which is only possible when we support.

    Also box-office smashers like Lagaan has portrayed disability in new light. Kachra, who suffers from polio since childhood uses his disability of left arm as a strength to become a fantastic spin bowler, and no one from the opponent team can ever anticipate, how he is going to spin the ball. His disability finally makes the village win the cricket match against the British.

    In this way, Bollywood naturally plays a major role in converting the ideas of the general mass, persuading them to believe what going on the screen.

    Entertainment and media are always game changers, as long as opinion forming is concerned in an educated society, and Bollywood is probably the largest, the highest viewed industry all across the world. Its audience ranges from India, to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kuwait and also United States of America.

    So Hindi films tend to change not only clichés in Indian society but also abroad through their intellectual ideas and concepts on human needs and abilities.


    Responses 1

    • Anirban Ghatak
      Anirban Ghatak   Sep 04, 2016 09:37 PM

      Wonderfully compiled and written .... this kind of topics should be published more frequently so that the general people can understand their emotions and feelings. Again well written.

  • 04 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    Admission of Bipolar Disorder was not an easy task for Yo Yo Honey Singh!

    honey singh bipolar disorder

    We have all shaken our legs to #LungiDance and ‘party shoes’ and many more uncountable rhythmic tracks, which have influenced us to change our opinion about good music. Since 2011, music has been all about raps and rhythms thanks to our Punjabi ‘munda’ YoYo Honey Singh saab.

    He has been the heartthrob of all concerts, and his item numbers swooned the discs and pubs. His graph of success has been tremendously rising within a very short span of time.

    But don’t you feel the feat is missing for some time now? Every Bollywood movie included a rap for its completion from Honey paa ji, in the recent years, but it’s been long that we have not had a new number from him.

    When the world was dancing through his tunes, he suddenly secluded himself from the limelight. Almost for two long years, Honey Singh has been away from the industry, which has given him the stardom, such that he is still not forgotten.

    Now he has finally opened up on this interlude in his journey.

    He has stated to the Times of India that he has been suffering from Bipolar Disorder, alcohol being one of its prime reasons.

    “The last 18 months were the darkest phase of my life, and I wasn’t in a state to talk to anyone”, he admits.

    Bipolar disorder is a mental state when a person usually has very frequent mood swings, reports The National Institute of Mental Health, and this severely damages brain balance and hampers work and daily activities. It has also been called “manic-depressive illness”.

    This disease has not left our celebrities alone as well, and Honey Singh is one of them. In spite of the stupendous fame and success, he was tied down by his mental illness.

    “Forget leaving the house, I couldn’t even leave my room. At one point, I thought I would live in this darkness forever. I had cut myself off from everyone. I didn’t come out of my room, forget stepping out of the house. I had a beard and I didn't get a haircut for months. For someone who has performed in front of a crowd of 20,000, I was scared of facing 4-5 people. That’s what bipolar disorder does to you,” Honey said.

    However, every cloud has a silver lining. What is inspiring is the fact, that this personality has shown the courage to own up his illness, which is the first and most important step of cure. He admits he has been an addict, and he was afraid this darkness would last him forever.

    But the fact that he has come in public once again, he is attending interviews is the proof that he is in the process of recovery. His sarcasms in lyrics has always been a matter of criticism, but with a positive spirit he has withheld them. Competition never concerned him, criticisms never bothered him, yet he has been in depression, fear and fret. But he sets an example by showing a strong will power to get himself out of this frustrating state.

    He has already changed four doctors in these 18 months with the hope that will be able to do away with his addiction and disorder.

    “After the sun went down, I was scared of my own family. I wasn’t behaving like myself. I was a sick person. I wasn’t in my own control. But now it is all behind me and I’ve come out of it”.


    Well said were the lines, “Beauty is Truth, truth is beauty”, that is art is always beautiful, and the beautiful soul is expressed in art. Whatever be the glooms of life, his music has always been with him. Possibly, his art is unchanged in his mind, which is acting as a positive force for survival and recovery.

    “One night when I couldn’t sleep in spite of popping sleeping pills, I wrote and composed a song called ‘Rise and Shine’, after seeing my mom breakdown. She is the only reason I am here today”, says Honey Singh.

    He will be soon back in music, rocking the top most charts with his sensational music and captivating lyrics.

    We hope that he will get over this subdued phase quickly, and will come back with a bang with some of his super hits down the line.

    And once again the music channels will bump up with a loud and clear shout #YoYoHoneySinga!!!

    References:1 2 3


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