Filmmaker Anurag Basu says his outlook towards life changed after his battle with cancer. Basu was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2004 and the doctors even said he had about two weeks left to live. This was the time when his wife Tani was seven-months pregnant with their daughter Ishana.
In the latest episode of Unfiltered By Samdish, Anurag Basu opened up about the scariest phase of his life and how he emerged as a survivor. It started with the filmmaker getting big blisters in his mouth. Despite doctor’s advice of getting admitted for medical tests, Basu chose to go back to the set of the movie he was shooting at that time.
“By evening Mukesh Bhatt asked me to pack up the shoot. You can never expect him to say that. It’s impossible. When I saw my parents’ face in hospital, I got a hint that something was wrong,” he shared.
The director of hits like Murder, Gangster, Life in a… Metro and Barfi was admitted to Lilavati Hospital. “I felt fine except for some headache and weakness. I even sneaked out of my hospital room for a beer with Emraan Hashmi and others. But my condition started deteriorating rapidly as no medicine was helping,” Basu said.
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He further revealed that his parents stopped meeting him because they couldn’t face him. “My internal organs were bleeding buckets. People kept coming to donate blood.”
Anurag Basu revealed how Mahesh Bhatt reacted seeing him in such a state. “Bhatt sir came to meet me. He put his hand on my forehead and he was shaking. He’s otherwise a very calm person. Even Anupam Kher came to meet me. Seeing both of them, I realised something is not right.”
“My face was bloated. I was unable to catch my breath. That feeling of suffocation made me get a reality check of my bad condition. Also the way people were panicking around me as no line of treatment was working,” he added.
The filmmaker said during those stressful weeks, his father ended up getting blood pressure and sugar. Basu’s wife wasn’t initially told about his condition, and she learned about it from news channels. It was only when he was shifted to Tata Memorial Hospital where he received new medicines, he started recuperating.
“As soon as I reached Tata Hospital, I was put on ventilator. In fact I wasn’t able to get a bed there. It was Sunil Dutt who got me one. I feel blessed to be a part of the film industry, that I immediately got a bed and treatment. A common man would have struggled.”
“Whoever knew me from television was doing everything they could, sending messages, asking for blood to save me. I don’t even know who all donated blood and platelets for me, whose blood is running in my veins today!” he said.
Anurag Basu received chemotherapy for some time. However, the filmmaker said he needed money for his treatment, and so he went back to television. He shot TV shows wearing a mask. Basu even started filming Gangster while his chemotherapy was going on.
“That courage came from my family and my dad. It was more difficult for everyone else around me, than me actually,” Basu said.