Actor Irrfan Khan, who is undergoing treatment for cancer in London, opened up about his battle with the illness in an interview to the Associated Press.
“I’ve seen life from a completely different angle,” Khan told the news agency on Wednesday. “You sit down and you see the other side and that’s fascinating. I’m engaged on a journey.”
In a statement on March 13, Khan revealed that he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour, a rare form of cancer.
Khan told AP that he has completed four out of six cycles of chemotherapy. “After the third cycle, the scan was positive,” he said. “But we need to see after the sixth scan. And then we’ll see where it takes me.”
When asked what he wants people to know about what he is going through, the actor said, “There are challenges which life throws at you. But I have started believing in the way this condition has tested me, really, really tested me in all aspects...Initially I was shaken. I didn’t know. I was very, very vulnerable. But slowly, there is another way to look at things that is much more powerful and much more productive and much more healthy and I just want people to believe that nature is much more trustworthy and one must trust that.”
He said there had been a lot of speculation about his recovery. “It’s not in my hand. That’s nature that will do whatever it has to do,” he said. “What is in my hand, I could take care of that. And it offers so much that you feel thankful. The way it is opening your windows to look at life. I would have never reached that state even if I had done meditation for 30 years, I wouldn’t have reached it.”
Such clarity came to him like “lightning”, the 52-year-old actor said. “You stop your contemplation, you stop your planning, you stop the noise. You see the other aspect of it. It gives you so much. Life offers you so much. That’s why I feel like I have no other words but thanks. There are no other words, there’s no other demand, there’s no other prayer.”
Two of Khan’s films are set to be released this weekend: Akarsh Khurana’s Hindi film Karwaan and Marc Turtletaub’s Puzzle, which will be in the cinemas in the United States of America.
But Khan said he has stopped reading new film scripts. “This has become a surreal experience. My days are unpredictable,” he said. “I used to think my life would be like that, but I could never practice unpredictability and spontaneity. That has happened now. I don’t plan. I go for breakfast and then I don’t have a plan. I take things as they come. That has been really helping me a lot...I’m just spontaneous. And I’m loving this experience.”
He added that he is in a “really fortunate state”. “There was something missing in my life,” he said. “I was feeling a little manipulated by myself, by my own mind. There was a kind of disharmony in myself. It was bothering me. And I think this is what I was missing, this spontaneity. I know because we live in a world that is packed with plans, it sounds unrealistic. How could you live your life like that? But life is so mysterious and has so much to offer, we don’t really try things. And I’m trying and I’m loving it. I’m in a really fortunate state.”