Cancer Survivor’s Journey: How Award-Winning Filmmaker Defeated Cancer

Podcast MD by Ketto with Kunal Kapoor Season One’s first episode featuring – National award-winning filmmaker Teenaa Kaur Pasricha

The first guest of season one was Teenaa Kaur Pasricha, a National Award winning film-maker and screenwriter. Raised up in Ajmer, Rajasthan Teenaa was brought up in a middle class family.  Her documentary ‘1984: When the Sun didn’t Rise’ has won multiple awards in competitions across the world. ‘1984, When the Sun didn’t Rise’ is a documentary film that journeys into the Widow’s Colony of New Delhi where 3,000 widows and their families were resettled after the Sikh massacre of 1984. It tells the story of three brave women who fight for justice while negotiating personal trauma and earning a livelihood for their families. “I used to be very depressed while I was shooting, as I was absorbing the emotions of these women who were narrating their horrific experiences,” Teenaa says.  

For Teenaa, it was a difficult journey, but also a very fulfilling one as she got to know stories of countless women who were affected by what happened in 1984. Teenaa was awarded the prestigious fellowship in screen- play writing by Time Warner foundation supported Asia Society, New York for her first feature film screenplay “The Red Autumn” in 2013-14. She has worked with India’s largest Broadcaster, Zee TV as a Promo Producer and a Core team member of Trends Ad films on producing TV Commercials. Teenaa was diagnosed with Breast Cancer right before she came to know that her film had won a National film Award for ‘Best Investigative Film’ in 2018. Her doctor recommended her to receive the award after undergoing a surgery, which she did. Her Chemotherapy sessions began right after she received the award. 

One year later, she was sharing her experience with the audience at a TEDx event. Teenaa hopes to clear the Taboo that Breast Cancer is surrounded with. Teenaa is a firm believer in the power of Homeopathy, Ayurveda and raw food diet. She believes the combination of these three things helped her cope up with the side effects of chemotherapy and live a healthier life too. For her diet, she starting eating sprouts and switched rice with millets. She also wants to spread awareness about the taboo that exists around breast cancer in the Indian society where she believes people are still hesitant to talk about it. She is of the opinion that women need to get regular check-ups done, so that life doesn’t spring surprises on them.

Breast cancer awareness according to her is an important women’s health issue that unfortunately isn’t discussed publicly- something she believes must change. Overall, Teenaa had to undergo a combination of Radiation therapy, surgery and Chemotherapy. Radiation therapy was the easiest part of the treatment for her as it didn’t involve going through terrible side-effects like in the case of Chemotherapy. For Teenaa, cancer put her life in perspective as she was able to reflect on things that matter to her. “All the things that weren’t in my life completely disappeared from my mind,” she says. After finishing her cancer treatment which lasted for 6 months, Teenaa has started travelling more often, something she says brings fulfillment in her life. Teenaa’s journey of fighting cancer was an uphill battle but her strong and positive attitude allowed her to bounce back in life.

You can catch Podcast MD by Ketto on all the major platforms like Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, JioSaavn and Hubhopper. You can also find it on eplog.media, our production partner.

Link to the podcast:
Google Podcast

Also, if you have a similar inspiring medical story that you think can be a source of inspiration to others, please get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you on mystory@ketto.org

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