Manju Warrier's mother recounts her unusual story of resilience at Manorama's 'Kerala CAN'


The story of Girija Madhavan, daughter of Malayali's "lady superstar" Manju Warrier, is an unusual story of sheer determination and resilience. Through her successful fight against cancer, Girija showed to the whole world that a moment after a housewife was relieved of cancerous effects, her life could be made more cheerful than her early life.

Manju Warrier, who loves to call her mother as one who is the captain of her life, once said that her mother had pursued everything that gave her happiness once she came out of the disease.

Girija Madhavan took time off to arrive as a guest to Malayala Manorama's "Kerala Can - fight against cancer" platform, which gave hope and succour to thousands of people suffering from the disease. She now reveals through the platform how she has won her life back.

"It was 20 years ago that I was diagnosed with cancer. It was during this period that Manju gave birth to her child. When I went to the doctor first, I was not serious. The treatment was delayed due to family engagements such as granddaughter's "chorunnu". The doctors had advised me about surgery. My treatment was looked after by a team led by Dr VP Gangadharan, who was then working with the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in Thiruvananthapuram."

"I was not aware of the seriousness of cancer at the early stage. Once chemotherapy and radiation started, I got friends having the same issue at the RCC. I developed a very good friendship with them. But soon, I started getting sad news of the departure of some of them forever. It was really a shock for me. Then I realised the seriousness of the disease. I then told my husband and children that I would also end up with the same fate. But they stood behind me like a rock. They consoled me and gave me strength . Manju and my son Madhu gave me courage by saying that my disease was not that serious compared to those who had died."

"When I was down with the disease, my husband took care of me. After the death of my husband, I took to dancing to avoid boredom. To be a dancer was my dream in my childhood. Those days during the joint family system, I grew up watching the dance performance of my cousin sisters. The dance teacher used to come to our ancestral house in the village. By the time I grew up, the dance practice of my sisters was over. I didn't get a chance to learn how to dance. During the post-cancer period, I tried to chase my long-cherished dream of being a dancer."

" I once tried to learn music along with Manju when she was a student. Though I wanted to learn dancing along with Manju, it did not take off. My children, who are always busy with their work, were so particular that I should not feel isolated and lead a reclusive life in my village Pullu in Thrissur district. They asked me to follow that which gives me happiness. I finally plunged into dancing. I started off by mastering "Nritha Yoga". Then I learnt Mohiniyattam along with it. Today, I enjoy every bit of the life which I lead."

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