I Am A 25 y. o. With Cancer, But Shoojit Sircar’s ‘October’ Helped Me Dream A Little

I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago in October 2017. Being so lonely in the hospital, I have somehow found comfort in Shoojit Sircar's movie October, Shiuli's initial recovery, and her friend coming to meet her tirelessly.

I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago in October 2017. Being so lonely in the hospital, I have somehow found comfort in Shoojit Sircar’s movie October, Shiuli’s initial recovery, and her friend coming to meet her tirelessly.

It was the month of October. Stinky smell of medicine and spirit filled the room. I asked the doctor straight, “Do I have cancer? Is my tumour malignant?”

I had a gut feeling that the answer would be positive. My tired parents standing against the smoothly painted white walls heard the C word with their 25 years old daughter’s name.

I remember the pre puja celebrations and colourful lights that I could see lying down inside the car that carried me to the hospital for the first time. It was October 2017. Today it’s October 2018. In this span of 1 year I have undergone multiple operations for which I stayed in hospitals for days.

I could hardly watch movies, but a few days ago a friend gave me the CD of October and I couldn’t sleep at night.

Shiuli reminds me of the girl on the bed next to mine at Tata Memorial Hospital in Kolkata. Her name was Snigdha. A beautiful young girl of 22, in the last stage of blood cancer. The lower part of her body was paralysed. The only reason she was admitted there was to take morphine doses to numb her unbearable pain. Doctors had almost stopped her treatment. She was dying. Every night when all patients and their caretakers slept we would stay wide awake.

Snigdha couldn’t see, but her eyes remained open, her pupils slowly moving. She talked softly. We talked about how life had changed, what dreams we had, how we had made friends. None of her college friends visited her. At first they used to come. Now they were tired of waiting for her to die, maybe.

Anyway I am diverting from the main thing that made me write this.

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Thank you Mr Shoojit Sircar for making the movie October. Because of you, maybe many like me believe that we could recover slowly. A little more patience, and we will see the light.

Sometimes examples shown in such a vivid, real way strike a chord. I don’t know the rating and numbers for the movie at the box office, I don’t know if the movie was successful in the eyes of an intelligent audience or whatever. But you can be sure that many souls whose second home is the hospital, and painful treatments are part of their lives – they will find hope.

The death of Shiuli in the movie didn’t have an effect on me the way her recovery did. I may not be making much sense here, but that’s the truth. I was hungrily looking for her recovery signs, and with each advancement I saw myself recovering.

I don’t know if Dan could have been a real character without Varun Dhawan. Thanks to Varun too for doing this out-of-the-box role. You know, when you are lying down on a hospital bed with pipes and channels in your organs going through your skin, when you know you can never be like before, when you feel the pain and sincerely wish to die, when you helplessly call your god’s name and silently shout: please take me with you; you no longer remain the same person who was strong and independent.

Snigdha and I knew how the world works and that our friends are good at heart. We didn’t blame anyone. Just that deep down we wished Dan would come. Snigdha is no more today. But the story continues, and I still wish that Dan would be around me.

Image source: a still from the movie October

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Shiny Hoque

I am a simple Indian woman who believes in strength of pen more than that of sword. I love to connect with people of different cultures and societies and learn their lifestyle. At a personal read more...

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