Manisha Koirala
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Ranbir Kapoor can play my younger brother: Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala

Actor Manisha Koirala, who has worked with Bollywood's big stars, including Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan in the past, is quite impressed with the younger talent and says she would love to work in a film where Ranbir Kapoor plays her younger brother.

"I have been seeing Ranbir Kapoor, and I think he is brilliant. I think he can do my younger brother's role," the 43-year-old said during a chat on the sidelines of a recently held event.

Manisha, who carved a niche in the Hindi film industry with films like Bombay, 1942: A Love Story and Dil Se, is also impressed with the new female talent in the Hindi film industry. Her last cinematic outing was Bhoot Returns.

"There are so many. From Anushka Sharma, Parineeti Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha to Sonam Kapoor... everyone is so competitive," said Manisha who successfully battled cancer recently.

"In our films, they show that if you are suffering from cancer, then you have to die. Nobody has till now shown that you can deal with cancer and you can also survive for 30 to 40 years," Manisha, who survived ovarian cancer said. She returned to the country last June after spending over six months in New York for treatment.

About a million cases of cancer are detected in India every year and about half of the patients die. These numbers are likely to go up considerably in the coming years.

The 43-year-old feels "a lot has been done in India for cancer awareness, but a lot needs to be done especially the villages. The information is not sufficient. People say that if you are suffering from cancer, you will die. That upsets me."

Manisha, who comes from one of the best-known political families of Nepal, is doing her bit for cancer awareness by speaking out about the disease. She recently lent support to the Sahachari Foundation to raise funds for cancer survivors with its Design One initiative. She also hopes to launch an NGO that will promote good health.

Manisha, one of the prettiest actresses of her time, says supporting such causes comes naturally to her because of what she went through during her ordeal.

"One can't describe the tough time. We (I) don't even remember how tough it was because it is painful to remember that. When you come out of it, you take a while to gain confidence and to meet people because you wonder what the other person is thinking," she said, adding, "It is thus imperative to learn to take it in one's stride".

"We have to learn to accept it and move on. One should not be bogged down with anything in life. God has given each of us enough strength within us. We must find that core strength," she said.

She finds herself a changed person.

"I am hugely changed from earlier on. I think I started seeing things in a clearer way. I feel one should value life every day - valuing your moments; valuing people around you is needed because god knows what is going to happen. Grab life with both hands and hug it," she said.

Now she is hopeful for a second innings but has her choices set in her mind. "I made many wrong choices earlier. I started taking myself for granted as I felt I am good-looking and talented, but not anymore. I know my talent and whatever capacity I have as an actor. If that is going to get utilised to the optimum, only then am I going to do the film," she said.