Sonali Bendre can be seen proudly embracing her cancer scars and short cropped hair in the pictures from her first photo shoot since the cancer diagnosis.
She posed in front of the camera for Vogue India, embracing her cancer scars after receiving treatment for almost six months in New York.
Sonali shared her pictures from the shoot on Instagram. “The idea was almost preposterous. An almost bald head, barely any make-up and a huge scar was not the norm for @vogue. But, I guess that’s my new normal. Of course, I had my reservations, and, if I dare say, insecurities – but a candid conversation with the lovely ladies @priya_tanna and @anaitashroffadajania cleared my doubts. And before I knew it, I was standing in front of the camera, ready to uncover my new reality. The icing on the cake was the fact that I needed one-third of the time for hair and make-up. So, I closed my eyes and jumped into it, full throttle, and this is the result. Thank you, @meghamahindru for telling my story; and thank you @ridburman for understanding my story and saying it so beautifully through your lens. If there’s a piece of advice I can give you all after this, it would be to ‘Find your new normal’. It’s very liberating,” she wrote.
The 44-year-old actor was diagnosed with high-grade cancer last year and had to undergo treatment in New York. She returned home in December and has resumed work.
Sonali had kept her fans in loop on social media about the various struggles she faced during her battle with the disease. She said it was important to be honest with people about what she went through, including the pain.
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“I’m okay with it now… I don’t even miss it,” says Sonali Bendre Behl (@iamsonalibendre) as she runs her hand neck upwards. “Yet it [my hair] was the be-all, end-all of my life. It was this stupid thing that I was hanging on to,” she shares. “My instinct was to wear a cap, a scarf or a wig—but these things are so ugly. I knew that if I had to accept it [going bald], I had to put a picture out there. Because once you share it on social media, you can feel the release.” Head to the link in our bio to read how she emerged stronger with a little help from family, friends and fans. Styled by: Anaita Shroff Adajania (@anaitashroffadajania) Photographed by: R Burman (@ridburman)
Sonali attended the India Today Conclave 2019 where she opened up on her fight with cancer.
“I wanted to be charge of my narrative from the start. When you are a public figure, there are so many narratives that it out there. And suddenly you lose hold of that narrative very quickly. It becomes a different thing all together.”
“As I went through the process, I realized that there are so many others that would be going to through it. I wouldn’t be honest that if I said, ‘Everything was sunshine’. It was not, it was painful and you do have to go through it,” she added.
She said, “I kept thinking what did I do wrong. I realized that we have done nothing wrong if we have got this disease. Every cancer is different. The symptoms and treatments are different and every human body deals with it differently. There are no formulas to it. That, I think, was the biggest takeaway for me. I don’t know why people hide it and don’t talk about it. As soon as I put that post out which was basically because I didn’t want rumours or distortion, the response was so overwhelming.”
Sonali Bendre has featured in films such as Sarfarosh, Major Saab and Hum Saath-Saath Hain to name a few. She’s married to producer Goldie Bahl and they are parens to 13-year old Ranveer.
Some people become their illness, while others hide behind it. Bendre has found a path between.
As reported to Vogue, when you ask her if there’s one thing she looks forward to in 2019, and she doesn’t take time to reply: “A blow-dry!”.
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