‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’
Behind Neerja Malik’s radiant smile there are many tales to be told. Little would you know that her beautiful smile conceals tales of tragedy- complications, miscarriages and cancer. Every episode of Neerja’s life has transformed her into a stellar woman, who evokes immense respect and emotions in the hearts of all. Today she wears many hats- an author, cancer counselor, motivational speaker and a Changemaker!
In Februray 1998, Neerja Malik was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Force had been kind to grant her another life even when the best medical experts claimed that she had only 25% chance of survival. Once again, in 2004, life challenged her with cancer. Strong medicines were prescribed and aggressive treatment was provided to help Neerja conquer the second cancer attack. The treatment succeeded in exhausting her physical energy but not her psychological resilience. It’s said that a true warrior perseveres till the end. Neerja courageously faced cancer and conquered it victoriously.
By age Neerja is 62 years but I bet, at heart she’s young as 18. You can’t blame yourself if you fall in love with her vivacious personality! Being high-spirited by nature, Neerja always succeeds in giving hope even to the hopeless. What’s the secret behind her beautiful smile? Neerja replies, “Happiness and joy”
Here are her takes on life, cancer and love. Some serious and some humorous!
“Challenges may come my way. But, there is always something that falls into my hand. Means that this is not the end, it’s just a bend!”
Flash back to 2004. Once again, Neerja was diagnosed with breast cancer! This time instead of fretting over the unfair rules of life she accepted the bitter fact like a mature adult and entered the battle of life, with a cool-head. All her friends mulled over the news with agony. But Neerja maintained her composure and reassured her friends, “If I could conquer it once, I can do it again!” True to her words she did it again!
On Positive Thinking
Change your mindset, change your life. Neerja inspires others with her buoyant outlook-
“I never concentrated on the fact that I had no energy. Rather than seeing the actual chaos, I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Neerja Malik is an optimist who strongly believes in the power of positive thinking. Forty days after the birth of her twins, Neerja was down with high fever. To be precise- 105 degrees! No natural remedies worked. Her health became critical to the extent that her doting mom and sister constantly slapped her face to stop her from falling asleep. Else, she would have slipped into comma. During this painful phase, Neerja used positive affirmations which kept her going. Temperature and drama, both were high! A teary-eyed Punjabi mother told Neerja, “You can’t go away now your twins are so young.” Like a mantra Neerja kept reciting the lines- ‘I’m not the body, I’m the soul and the soul feels nothing’. Her mother thought Neerja was delivering her farewell speech!
On Love and Distance
Distance means so little, when someone means so much.
Neerja Malik confesses-
“People who are away, suffer much more.”
She jokingly says, “My poor husband has empowered me, mostly by remote control!” Mandeep (husband) has been her pillar of strength who managed everything in Chennai very well. Neerja has been blessed with supportive in-laws and parents (Kamla & Benoy Bhushan) who went great lengths during the darkest hours of the day.
On Helping Cancer Patients
No one can question Neerja’s zeal when it comes to counseling cancer patients. She cheerfully says, “The more I do for my patients, the happier I am!” She adds-
“It’s not that I meet patients because I give them joy. It’s that meeting and helping them gives me joy!”
On Spirituality and God
In spite of all the challenges life has thrown at her and the tragic moments she has witnessed, God-loving Neerja always praises, “God is great!” In fact, she believes it is the spiritual power that helped her sail through the turbulent times.
Our Social Call
Neerja Malik is a woman with a golden heart. She’s a changemaker who has embarked on a journey to inspire you! New motivational video to be posted every week featuring Neerja Malik. Do subscribe for regular updates!
Watch her inspiring interview on Social Pukar’s YouTube Channel here-
‘In three words I can sum everything I’ve learned about life:
it goes on.’
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