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  1. #1
    Retired Staff
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default I was doing comedy while grieving for my Sister

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    I was doing comedy while grieving for my Sister
    By Subhash K Jha

    Being known as a comic actor has its devastating downside. After he lost his sister and brother-in-law to 26/11, Ashish Choudhury had to leave for Cape Town to do comedy for a film Seasons Greetings.

    "I sobbed through the flight. And all the way to location. I didn't know how I was going to do it. But when I faced the camera I was funny. I didn't knew how it happened. But that experience gave me strength. I realized I've to keep the show going. No one will know what I was going through when they see my comic timing in Seasons Greetings."

    He sighs deeply. "I can't question God for what happened. I can't question anyone. But I'm not scared of calamities any more. I just want the strength to fight setbacks."

    Ashish Chowdhury doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. While he smiles as he sees his newly born son in hospital he also rushes to another hospital where his mother has to undergo emergency spinal surgery after an accident.

    The birth of his son Agastya on 2 January has dissipated some of the clouds that gathered around actor Ashish Choudhury's life when on the frightful fateful day that was 26/11 he lost his sister and brother-in- law.

    "In one swoop life changed forever. The trauma will never be forgotten. But my son's birth has brought a bit of sunshine for all of us in the family, " says Ashish softly. "we all wished it would be a baby girl after my sister Monica was gone. But since Monica was a tomboy a boy is just fine, " he laughs gently.

    "I can't say Agastya has made me happy again. That will be a long time. But he has come as peep pill after a long illness. After what happened I could've caved in with grief. But I'm the eldest son of the family and I can't afford the luxury of grief. I've to be strong for my parents' sake and for the sake of my brother'in-laws' parents."

    Ashish is now able to look at 26/11 with a certain amount of dispassion. "I now realize what it is like to be traumatized by tragedy far beyond human comprehension. Bomb blasts happened before, minor girls get raped and killed. I'd read about it and move on. Such an experience changes your entire attitude to life. I don't take anything or anyone for granted any longer."

    After the trauma of losing his sister and brother-in-law Ashish had to undergo another mishap in the family. "About two weeks ago, my mom slipped and fell in the bathroom and fractured her spine.

    When my Dad went running to help her he slipped and fell too, fracturing his hand and dislocated his finger. My mom will have to go through a very complicated surgery. She hasn't seen my baby yet. And that breaks my heart, and breaks her heart too."

    Ashish is coping. "I'm my parents' only child now. My Jeejoo (brother-in-law Ajit Chabria) was his parents' only son. It's crazy and it's agonizing. Because I can't show my grief to anyone.

    I now have to live not only the life of a son but also the other child that my parents lost. I can never replace my sister in our lives. But I've to make sure I do all my duties.

    I can't afford to be weak. There're too many hopes hanging on me. I'm done with selfpity. I feel I'm born again. I can't hurt anyone anymore.

    After what happened to me and my family I actually called up people whom I know to ask them if I had ever hurt them in the past. I was seeking answers for what happened. I was told I never hurt anyone. That comforted me."

    Ashish is now looking out for his sister's children Kanishk (12) and Ananya (7). "They see me as a kind friend and father figure. They stay with their Dada and Dadee. The couple is looking after Monica and Jeejoo's kids as though they're bringing up their son again.

    They definitely have the first right over Jeejoo's kids. I see my sister and Jeejoo in them. They are as precious to me as my own son. I'd hate to call them responsibilities. They're an integral part of my life.I'd do anything to make them happy."

    Ashish brightens up at the mention of his son. "My wife Shamita came up with the name Agastya. Everyone loved the name. I was keen on a western name. So I call him August –Ash, like Nicole Kidman's kid who has two names. He's the gift of life that has brightened our lives."

  2. #2
    Kal Ho Na Ho
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    India & Cambodia


    Thank you so much dear.



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