“I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of five, and at the age of six my doctors had to amputate my left arm right up till my collarbone. Of course, it was a struggle while growing up — other children making fun of me, not being given the same opportunity to them; whether it was wanting to be a boxer or participate in other tournaments. As I grew up, I began to accept my situation and would often joke about my ‘missing limb’. I was also very determined as a child.
I was always a huge fan of football, so I would train really hard to be a goal-keeper and all that training paid off — I was selected to play at the Inter-school level. The first match of that tournament was an unforgettable one for me. When the coach of the opposite team realized that I was the goalkeeper, he declared that his team would win by ‘atleast 6 goals!’ but I didn’t let that bother me. I was so focussed on doing my best that we ended up winning the game 4-2! That was a day of validation for me— that if I really try nothing is a limitation.
And that’s what my entire adult life has been about — trying different things. I’ve worked at a call center, at a movie rental place, as a waiter at a hotel, as a hotel manager and even a brief stint in bartending! I began to travel a lot as well and when I was in Goa, I began to write poetry and sell my pieces for 6 months. As another experiment, I worked as an AD for a film called Candy flip and that’s when I fell in love with the profession. Ever since then, I’ve started my own company called ‘Secret Locators’, a post film production house and I’m living the life of my dreams!
In 2014, my cancer resurfaced in another form, but I beat it for the second time. Or like I usually say — ‘my invisible hand is always showing the invisible finger to cancer!’ Jokes apart, these things happen in life — it’s how you deal with it. I prefer to take it with a pinch of salt and move on and I wish people would do the same and stop being sympathetic towards me — I’m not disabled, I’m differently-abled! People need to understand that being sympathetic makes it worse — I mean look at me! I play cricket, chess, table tennis and I’ve climbed a mountain, 13,500 feet above sea level, with a 75Ltr backpack…twice! Does it really look like I need any sympathy?”