Conquering the big ‘C’

Indian cricket’s swashbuckling hero and forever ladies’ man, Yuvraj Singh, is back in his country after a long and lonely three months in the US where he battled an uncertain battle with a rare form of cancer.


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Published: Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:14 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:49 AM

But in true Yuvi style he came out of this battle too, firing on all cylinders and never once showing the fear that he recently admitted to having felt in the initial days when he found out there was something dreadfully wrong with his body.

“I was in denial,” he said of the disease which started sending him signals in the form of a wracking cough, nausea and sometimes vomiting, around the time the team was engaged in the fight to pick up the World Cup trophy.

A vulnerable looking Yuvi, sporting a bald pate from the chemotherapy sessions, arrived in India last week to a joyous welcome by his fans, family and his team mates. Cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar welcomed “my brother” back while others cautioned him against jumping the gun and getting back to the field.

The cricketer, known for his fearless feats on the field is, however, not in a hurry to start playing. “Cancer has gone out of my body, not the scars. The illness has hit me hard, but I have come out of it,” he said at an appearance at the Yuvraj Singh Centre of Excellence that he set up at Gurgaon in North India to train cricketing talent. “At the moment, I am happy and relieved to get my life back. I am thankful to God.

“I am going to work hard and play for the country. I want to wear the India logo. I will come back, definitely. But I need time. My body needs time. At the moment, my priority is my health. I have come through a tough time. May be I need an extra month to get back on the field.”

Yuvi’s trademark positivity and his cheerful attitude to life seems to have helped him get back on track soon after a painful and traumatic treatment but the next few years will be fraught with uncertainty and will require him to focus completely on changing his lifestyle and sticking to a well laid-down recovery path. “The doctor said the possibility of a relapse would be known in a year and in the next four years. And if it does not occur in five years, then we can be sure that he’s 100 per cent cured.”

The dashing young man gave a rare peek into how vulnerable he was during his treatment at a Boston hospital: “I used to vomit, break down and cry.” He was referring to the nausea that follows chemotherapy sessions. “My mother is my biggest supporter. I don’t think I could have made this journey without her.”

The traumatic time dealing with cancer seems to have given him new strength. And a few lifelong friends. Cycling icon Lance Armstrong, who also fought a stiff battle with cancer which was delayed in getting diagnosed, is in touch with the cricketer, writing to him after he was discharged from hospital and urging him to cultivate a positive outlook towards life.

Meanwhile , Yuvraj had this to say to his fans about the dreaded C word: “Cancer is curable if detected in time.”

Naseeruddin ’s Pakistani venture

One of the Indian film industry’s most respected and talented actors, Naseeruddin Shah, is soon to get involved in an ambitious new musical interpretation of the story of Punjab’s legendary and ill-fated lovers, Heer Ranjha.

Shah, a veteran of innumerable movies, many of them path-breaking parallel cinema, will give the voice over for the new adaptation that will be made in Pakistan by Mian Yousuf Salahuddin, aka Uncle Joe, who is taking up the project for Pakistani television.

Salahuddin said recently, “In the past, many adaptations of “Heer Ranjha” have been made but I felt that there was a need to revive the old classic tale into a new version. The serial will be directed by Shahid Zahoor and the screenplay has been done by Aqeel Ruby. Popular television actor Ahsan Khan will play the role of Ranjha while model-cum-singer Zaria will play the role of Heer.”

Besides being a talented actor, Shah is also a much sought for his rich voice — he was the narrator for Karadi Tales, a popular audio book series for children, and also the narrator for the film Paheli - the Indian entry to the 2006 Academy Awards.

We are looking forward to this project to see and hear the magic of this wonderful actor’s voice.

A Jolie good idea

ANGELINE JOLIE is smitten. And no, before you jump to conclusions, the object of her affection is the newly-crowned Duchess of Cambridge. So fascinated is the lady with Kate Middleton that she is reportedly toying with the idea of doing a biopic on her, with herself in the lead role!

Hollywood’s reigning diva with her brood of six kids is so fascinated by the royal couple’s sincerity and aura of kindness that she has reportedly put up a frame of the couple’s wedding on the wall of their $35 million chateau in France.

Jolie and Kate Middleton have remarkable commonalities in their life. Both of them are common folk who rose to royalty status – Jolie with her acting and her relationship with Hollywood hunk Brad Pitt, and Middleton with her globally televised wedding with Britian’s Prince William. The Brangelina couple, incidentally, are so enamoured of the royals that they watched the telecast of the wedding with their kids.

Will they bite the bullet and make that biopic? Will Angelina get to play the woman that she admires so much? We will keep you posted.

Decoys for a diva

HIRING BODY doubles is common practice in the film industry, be it substituting for a leading actor who does not want to show too much skin or a star who does not have the conviction to do some thrilling action scenes. The look-alikes of some of the world’s leading actors make just enough money to keep body and soul together but they are an intrinsic part of show business.

Singer Madonna has, however, gone a step further and is believed to have hired five 5 women very close to her in looks and will use them as decoys to keep her from being chased by the paparazzi and fans as she embarks on another ambitious tour. The decoys are being trained to look, walk and behave like her by the star herself and will possibly be used to distract waiting media and fans, as she exits and enters hotels and venues of her performance.

The ‘4 Minutes’ hit maker is hoping the plan will allow her to move around in private during the world tour which starts in May. We have seen the pop queen perform live in the United States for her rather strangely named Sticky & Sweet tour and we can tell you the lady has so many well-developed muscles that it will take a very strong and brave fan/paparazzi to chase or stalk her. She doesn’t really need the decoys.—

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