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Beautiful in and out

Model-actor Lisa Ray

Model-actor Lisa Ray   | Photo Credit: K R Deepak

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Lisa Ray on being a cancer survivor and living life with a greater sense of progress

Actor-model Lisa Ray will soon unveil her poetry later in the year in Mumbai. The actor, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow) in 2009, has been penning her life’s journey through her blog ‘The Yellow Diaries’ as she opens up on the emotional healing of breaking the silence. Lisa says an essential ingredient of fighting cancer is sharing. “The healing is beyond the body and part of it is sharing. Cancer has really transformed my life in a very positive way. I live with a greater sense of progress and for that I am very grateful,” she says.

The Canadian beauty, who was in the city recently, looked charming and graceful in a golden coloured jacquard silk trench dress from the house of Varana, styled by celebrity stylist Maneka Harisinghania, whose list of clients include celebrities like Malaika Arora Khan. “Cancer certainly cemented my decision to just focus on things that were important to me personally. It gave me the courage to pursue things I have been putting off for a long time. My writing is something I hold very dear to my heart,” says the actor. Her positive attitude comes from the fact that she has treated cancer as “just another speed bump” in her action-packed life. “If you are faced with losing your life, it is the gravest and most difficult obstacles of life; when you are dealing with your own mortality. Once you work through that, everything else kind of pales compared to that. I live with a greater sense of humour and self-awareness to navigate life in ways I would never have earlier,” says Ray.

Ever since her cancer diagnosis seven years ago, she has been deeply involved in spreading awareness about the disease. “I relapsed once. I am not in the clear and will never be. I have been on drugs, very heavy drugs since then,” she says. While that has been an essential part of her treatment, a lot of the healing for Ray has been through the complimentary therapies, she says. “I am a mini-expert on nutrition, Ayurveda and Chinese medicines, yoga and meditation. I think they work alongside each other. In fact, if I were diagnosed today, I would actually stop and make a different decision of going straight into allopathic treatment,” she adds.

Reflecting on the exorbitant cost of cancer treatment everywhere in the world, Ray says: “What we need to do perhaps is to have a preventative approach. Many of the cancers diagnosed today are lifestyle diseases coming out of people who do not know how to be healthy. A part of it is preventative by controlling stress, being conscious of toxins. We just ignore things till the end until it has a physical manifestation. According to Ayurveda, there are eight stages of a disease and it is only in the eighth stage that it physically manifests. So we have chance to intervene at every stage.”

Shuttling between Mumbai and Hong Kong, Ray relishes being in India for many different reasons, one of them being her healing therapies that happen in the country. “I love my work here. I get to criss-cross the country and discover many beautiful sides of it,” she says. Ray is currently working on a film project for which she has finished shooting.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:45:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/beautiful-in-and-out/article19698856.ece

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