Mukesh Choudhary, better known under his screen name, Vihaan. A young man with dreams like everyone else, acquainted with show business at an early age. His handsome looks always drew attention every time he stepped out, and he sure made heads turn in his hometown, Mumbai, the City of Dreams for aspiring stars. Small offers from the Advertising world led him to shine on television in a couple of TV serials subsequently paving his way into Bollywood with some notable roles in some popular movies.
In June 2016, his next mission was to shoot a music video for a song he had composed, produced and sung himself. As Vihaan worked harder on getting his body into the fittest form ever to look his best on screen, he realized that he was frequently getting tired and had started experiencing a radiating pain in his lower back that emerged out into the front of his abdomen. A large mass around the kidney was detected to be a fast-spreading tumour, the dreaded Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.
The longest walk, ever
Vihaan painfully recalls how the walk from the doctor’s clinic back to his car was the longest ever, as he wistfully absorbed the reality of what the doctor had just told him. Cancer has long been a dreaded word. But somehow one always heard of it happening to someone else. He wouldn’t have, in his wildest dreams, thought of it happening to him.
What now? Why me? What about my kids? So many questions weighed heavily down on him.
Six months of chemotherapy really took its toll on this father of two adorable boys, one of whom was a little toddler, all of 2 years old. As he struggled to keep himself together for the sake of his family, he never lost focus on staying positive and looking at each day as a new blessing.
But unfortunately, March 2017 gave him a rude blow in the form of a relapse, shockingly, just about a month after his last Chemotherapy. Second and third opinions with different doctors only showed him a single road to only more aggressive chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
Taking a holistic approach
That’s when Vihaan swore, that he wouldn’t let either of the above overcome him. He sought holistic methods, while consciously keeping harsh steroids and medicines at bay – he resorted to Homeopathy and Naturopathy. He was stoic and resolute as he gunned for good health with some serious determination. He consulted with Luke Coutinho, renowned Nutritionist and author of ‘The Great Indian Diet’, who carefully monitored his intake of the right foods using a holistic approach.
Sugar and dairy, mainly milk, was eliminated completely. Lots of fresh, raw fruits and raw vegetables needed to be consumed in different forms like juices and salads, as many times he could in a day. Gluten was replaced with millets and rice, which he consumed daily together with lentils and pulses. He also frequently had a handful of nuts and seeds as a quick snack whenever he craved a small bite.
Vihaan found himself strongly attracted to mindful meditation and practicing daily affirmations. He constantly affirmed that he was Normal and Healthy, over and over until he felt that his subconscious self-absorbed it deeply. This almost meditative chanting only fanned the flames of his intense faith and belief of beating this disease against all odds. Notably, Vihaan never stopped believing, even for a moment, that he would beat this disease right out of his system. And sure enough, his last PET scan just a few months after that holistic medley of the right foods, natural medications, affirmations and most importantly, self-belief, gave him a clean bill of health.
Vihaan has been cancer-free and is doing a great job keeping it at bay since early 2018, collating all of the good things mentioned above wrapped up together mindfully. He tells us, that half the battle is won when you truly believe and eat right.
Spreading the Word
Vihaan has made it his mission to spread the word and help as many souls whose lives changed just as impudently while they were making other plans, because everyone in today’s time and age wants a miracle. And he has proven that it is possible. A large part of life's perspectives and priorities change when one has an experience like Vihaan did. Suddenly, the little things don't matter anymore. It’s so important to 'let-go' of all negativity and 'hold-on' to everything positive, including good thoughts, for oneself and towards others.
It’s imperative to add, that once Vihaan was strong and able, he walked right back into television with a role in a popular TV serial, albeit a small role... but ironically enough, he played a Doctor.