Social Media Gave Me the Strength to Fight Cancer: Tahira Kashyap

Tahira Kashyap has directed a short film called ‘Toffee’.

Updated03 Dec 2019, 09:24 AM IST
4 min read

Celebrating the birthday of The Powerpuff Girls this year, Cartoon Network India has unveiled its second edition of the POW-fect Girls List 2019. The list features the journeys of 10 women trailblazers who were the agents of change, echoing the spirit of Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup!

Every year, inspirational women from the POW-fect Girls List share their experiences through candid interviews. However, 2019 also emphasizes on the #PowerToChange. The ladies in this edition speak about being the flag bearers of change.

This year’s POW-fect Girls list includes writer and filmmaker Tahira Kashyap Khurrana. She spoke to The Quint about how she dabbled in different careers, dealing with cancer and more.

You’re part of Cartoon Network’s latest campaign, #PowertoChange, so I was just wondering - do you look at yourself as an agent of change?

I just feel that each one of us is an agent of change and we need to acknowledge that. We all can add value to our lives, our families, to society and we just need to acknowledge that.

Most of us - I don’t know how others feel but I am being very honest - feel very inconspicuous, we feel very small. The universe is so big. The world is so big. The society is so big. My building is so big, there are so many people and I am lost somewhere. But that’s just a thought. I just feel that once that changes, I feel I am very significant and I am here for some purpose and when we sort of acknowledge that, we become the agents of change.

Many of us need to work on respecting ourselves. Loving ourselves, but as long as we are working towards it. As long as the intention is there. I think it’s all good.

Which in the time of social media is hard because there is so much of it. So many things and there so many people. Right?

Yeah, but I think social media really helps you come together. It’s a very collective thing. As of now, there are pros and cons to every situation but for me social media has really helped me be a catalyst to being the agent of change, which you are talking about. So, had this platform not been there I don’t know where I would have spoken but I would have spoken for sure. But I am just so grateful to social media.

How did you reach that point in life when you were okay with exposing things about your life that most of us wouldn’t be okay with?

Again, it’s been a very transformational journey for me. It wasn’t only cancer that started this transformation. Ever since I took up the practice of chanting I felt well- equipped to take on life and be responsible for my own life. Otherwise, you’re always blaming other people and circumstances. I am not having a good day because that one spoke badly to me, I am not having a good day because this has happened. Make a good day yourself, we can do that by just having a good high-life state. And this changed perspective of not being a victim and to be the person who can bring about a change in their own lives. This perspective change, this shift has ended because of my practice of Buddhism.
Once cancer happened I didn’t have the intention of sharing it with the world because obviously the first response is keep it under wraps and this is your own ordeal, it is your own thing, don’t share it with the world. But when I was going through the process and when I got to know about so many cases that went wrong for women, just because there was a lot of stigma and taboo associated with breast cancer, they lost their lives and that’s not worth that. And I feel very strongly about it.

You know, 60% of the cases in India are diagnosed at the advance stage and the most common cancer is the breast cancer. In terms of instances and mortality, so I feel in terms of these figures and statistics around me, I felt an urge to speak and get it out. To spread the message of early breast cancer detection and also self love because a lot of go into hiding. There are surgery, there are marks but who doesn’t have it. They are physical marks, a lot of us have marks mentally, for me to acknowledge them move on with them, these are our badges of honour. I posted a picture of when I was losing hair, and the is the toughest. It’s very easy to say, I just posted it, but once you are losing hair it is not a pretty sight.

Also, it’s one thing to acknowledge and another thing to take a picture of it and the let the world see..

Video Editor: Ashish MacCune

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Published: 30 Nov 2019, 07:36 AM IST

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