“I’ve cried so much that my face has changed. I look like a different person,” says Vijayta Pandit, yesteryears’ hit heroine of Love Story, now composer Aadesh Shrivastava’s devoted wife for many years, struggling to maintain her emotional equilibrium as her husband battles for his life.
“I can’t describe what I am going through. I don’t know how I am coping. Our two sons Anivesh and Avitesh are keeping me from crumbling under pressure. My family (brothers composers Jatin and Lalit Pandit) are also a great support,” says Vijayta, recalling with horror her husband’s sudden relapse a month ago.
“We had gone to America and had just returned when he suddenly started bleeding from his nose. It wouldn’t stop. We rushed him to the Kokilaben hospital. That’s been his home for the last one month. I am running from the hospital to our residence all day long trying to remain sane even as the doctors have given up on him,” Vijayta breaks down and weeps inconsolably.
Their two sons are suffering the most because of illness.
Says Vijayta, “They are still children. To see their father in this conditi…Even as I speak to you one of the boys is in the hospital with his father. Our children’s lives are torn apart.”
The family is undergoing tremendous financial hardships, with one life-saving injection costing Rs. 12 lakhs. Somewhere I sense Vijayta’s isolation from the film fraternity. In 2011, when Aadesh had first been diagnosed with cancer he had told me, “Falling ill so suddenly was traumatic. But the cold-shoulder treatment I got from the people with whom I’ve closely worked with for years, has caused me even more damage than the disease itself. Nobody came to visit me after I fell sick.”
The film industry prides itself on being human. Why not reach out to this family and to this terminally ill talented composer who gave such great songs for the Big B to sing in Baghbaan and other films?