Battling cancer has become a trifling these days. Many actors have been diagnosed with Cancer. In our cancer survivors’ stories next is of filmmaker Anurag Basu. The director battled the ailment when he was told he had two weeks to live after his cancer diagnosis. Anurag has directed many critically acclaimed films like Gangster, Saaya, Murder, and Jagga Jasoos among others. It was 2004 when he was shooting Gangster and was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
In a recent interview, Anurag Basu revealed how he learned about the disease and how it all began with just blisters turning into a serious issue in no time. When he was diagnosed with blood cancer he had finished the shoot of Saaya and Murder and was preparing for the next ‘Gangster’. He said, “I got some blisters in my mouth one day. It was really big, like bubbles. My doctor got very scared after seeing my condition. They took my blood and reports, and I said, ‘I can’t do it now, I have to finish shooting. When I went to shoot, Mukesh Bhatt said, ‘pack everything up’. 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.”
The director claims to be thankful for the industry as several members of the film industry came to his aide. He was moved from hospital to hospital but then Sunil Dutt came to help to get a bed at Tata Hospital. He shared: “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.”
Basu also recalls not understanding the seriousness of the disease as he sneaked out of the hospital for some beer with Emraan Hashmi. He added: “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. My platelets were decreasing. The day I got scared was when my mom and dad stopped facing me in the hospital. It was scary as there was blood and blood. My internal organs were bleeding buckets. People kept coming to donate blood.”
It was brave of him to combat such a difficult situation when he had nearly 14 days to live but now he has lived for years and many more to go. It’s been 18 years now and he has delivered many more movies. His latest project was LUDO which was released on Netflix during the global pandemic of COVID-19. The film was appreciated by critics and audience.