New Delhi : Can cancer be defeated? The answer is emphatic yes and amen! , if the patient is of the stuff 62 year old Pushpa Jha of Bihar is made of. And guess what, stage 4 breast cancer patient Mrs Jha is laughing all the way to Chemotherapy in Max Hospital, Patparganj !!! Her ‘trademark’ laughter is the talk of the Cancer town providing tonic to other cancer patients who might be losing heart. Nidar Hamesha ( always fearless), the name of the cancer support group she belongs to, is what precisely sums up the persona of Mrs Jha battling Cancer.
The residents of iconic Sah Vikash Apartment of Rajni Kothari, Nirmal Verma, Booker prize winner Gitanjali Shree fame skip a beat when they do not hear the belly laughter of Mrs Jha. For the Delhi University academics of the housing society, Mrs Jha is a veritable study in resilience, courage and unique fighting spirit. Her reverberating laughter warms the cockles of the hearts of the society residents. Sh is cynosure of all eyes there.
Mrs Pushpa’s hubby prof Satish Jha, former teacher of Political Science in DU’s Atma Ram Sanatan Dharm College says with panache- Pushpa’s hilarious laughter is trademark (specialty) of our apartment society and that of Max Parpatganj hospital. She is a fighter and inspiration for women in the midst of extreme distress. Mr Jha says, “if sometimes society residents do not hear her laugh, they become worried about her. The phone starts ringing asking for her well being. Battling cancer, Pushpa is a byword of hilarity in the Society.”
In the spirit of ‘Pushpa Jhukega Nahee Sala’, the famous dialogue of a recent famous movie Pushpa: The Rise, Mrs Pushpa is far from being bullied by her 4th stage breast cancer, though the comparison is not so seemly but used only because of lack of a better description to underline the fighting spirit that Mrs Pushpa evinces in real life. She has made such lemonade of the lemons the life has handed to her that you might start wishing to have such crucible in life to be a fighter like her. One needs nerve like her to sustain such demanding situation.
Needless to say that hearing C- word sends shiver down the spine of all and sundry. But Cancer has caught a tartar in Mrs Pushpa who is far from being browbeaten.
Mrs Pushpa is in the middle of a world war, so to say. The treatment is, as they say, is proving worse than the disease. It is costing a bomb. In such double whammy, it seems well nigh impossible to live life like Pushpa jha. You may call her ‘Impossible Pushpa’ if you will, stealing the tag from eponymous and very popular ongoing TV serial. The cost accruing to her in the last four years can easily make the sum of buying a couple of houses in any posh locality of Delhi. Her persona as cancer warrior has no compare. Her guffaw is a signature spunk nonpareil for cancer inflicted women.
As if it wasn’t enough, cancer which she had defeated once, has reared its ugly head again. But those who know Pushpa ji’s will power are sure the recurring cancer is in for another defeat at her hands.
Renowned Cancer specialist Dr ( prof) Meenu Walia, Director, Medical Oncology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj has created a group Nidarr Hamesha ( always fearless) comprising mostly of women battling cancer. This group includes many women who are fighting cancer of different kinds including that of breast cancer with rare spirit. The group boasts of many inspiring saga of women unflinchingly staring cancer in the eye but Pushpa Jha as shero in the group is a cut above the rest. She has assumed the role of agony aunt of sorts for women cancer patients. Cancer patients look for her advice whenever anyone of them plumbs into the depths of melancholy, depression and despair. Interestingly, Dr Walia herself prescribes Pushpa ji to them. She is a kind of referral for women cancer patients who feel kind of losing hearts. Pushpa je acts as medicine for them.
When Pushpa jee goes to Max Paparganj for her bout of chemotherapy, her arrival is announced by her ringing and echoing laughter which enlivens cancer patients there. Pushpa Jha attributes her unshaken courage in the fight against cancer to her steadfast husband prof Satish. She says, ‘ Satish jee is a perennial source of strength. But for him as mountain of strength beside him, she would not have been able to take on cancer. Not once have I found him irritable about me. I always found him as unswerving column of strength beside me. Fortunately for me, I have many other near and dear ones too from whom I derive succor. My brother in law Ajay Thakur, retired special secretary, government of Bihar is kind of soul mate for me, who suffers more for me than me. His wife my sister Rekha Thakur and myself are inseparably bound up together. Such support system is my strength. Dr Meenu Walia is also a godsend for us.”
Prof Satish says, “Her laughter is brand of our housing society. She is a fighter impossible and is inspiration for those women who are in the midst of suffering.” Choked with emotions while talking about Pushpa je, her brother in law Ajay Thakur says, “ Pushpa ji is my best friend to whom I confide Man ki Baat and vis a vis. My pleasure will vanish if she leaves this world early due to this disease. May God Protect her.”