Sooraj tells us, “On the day of my return (May 7), I started feeling uneasy. I felt extremely weak but was unable to fathom the issue, as the antigen and RT-PCR tests I underwent a few days before were negative. I underwent another round of tests at Mumbai airport and the result was awaited. However, I got a CT scan, as my condition worsened, and consulted a doctor, who told me that COVID had infected my lungs.”
While he was recuperating in the hospital, his wife, actress Dipti Dhyani, was worried about his health. He says, “My wife was shaken when the doctor told us that the infection would spread further. All I could think of at that time was to make a will. I shot a video in that condition and sent it to my nephew, who is a lawyer. I even paid the house rent in advance, cleared my bills, and transferred money into Dipti’s account.”
Sooraj had mentioned that he had faced a financial setback following a no-work phase with the entertainment industry coming to a halt owing to the lockdown last year. Ask him about the expensive medical treatment and he replies, “Acting is a seasonal job. There is no income when you are not working. I am grateful to my Akbar Birbal co-actors Ali Asgar and Vishaal Kotian, Khalid Siddiqui, who plays my brother in SAAKK, and some of my school friends for extending their unconditional support. They even offered me financial aid. Fortunately, I didn’t have to ask anyone for help and I took care of my medical expenses.”
He adds, “I am grateful to the medical staff at both the hospitals and everyone who prayed for me. My wife has been my biggest support. She must have visited every single temple in our locality to pray for my recovery.”
The actor says that he will resume shoot once he has recovered fully. “My producers — Deeya and Tony Singh — have been extremely cooperative and were checking in on me constantly. It will take me some time to recover and regain my strength,” he signs off.