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Filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi, credited with acclaimed films like Rudaali and Daman has been suffering from kidney cancer from past three years. The maverick filmmaker was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a city hospital this morning after her condition worsened.
Lajmi is currently stable and will be kept under observation for the next 24-48 hours. Talking to indianexpress.com from the hospital, the 61-year-old director said, “Yesterday was my husband’s (Assamese musician Bhupen Hazarika) sixth death anniversary. So, whole of the Assam held a mourning ceremony in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. I made the mistake of deciding to attend it because from past few years I have only travelled between home to hospital, I don’t go anywhere else because of my health. But yesterday I did and I think I got a heatstroke, it was so bad. When I woke up today, I felt I was sinking. So, I just took my driver and rushed to Kokilaben Hospital.”
The director was then informed that her heart rate had dropped. “All these are the unfortunate incidents that take place with the kidney patients. And I have lost both my kidneys, so, I have to be more careful,” she said. Lajmi, who was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, added that she is hopeful she would recover in another eight months, provided she takes extra care of her eyes and leg muscles.
”I am doing much better than last three years. But two things have to improve – my eyes, which were affected, and the muscle of my legs. So, once I get back home, I will start physiotherapy. I still think, it will take at least six-eight months for me to say, ‘I am absolutely fit to, I hope, get back to work’.”
Besides her own will to return to movies, what has also kept Lajmi’s spirits high in the time of crisis is the support from her film industry. The filmmaker shared that people like Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Karan Johar, Soni Razdan, Rohit Shetty, the Film and Television Director’s Association have helped her financially. “I don’t think so without their support, I would have survived because this is a very expensive process. I also want to mention one person from the industry, who has stood by me through all the times, and that is director Shyam Benegal. He, my mother (renowned painter Lalitha Lajmi) and my brother have been the pillars.”