Akash Dodeja, famously known as ‘Jadoo’ from Ashish Chanchlani Vines, was missing from social media for the past 6 months. He did not appear in any of Ashish’s skits, nor was making any of his lifestyle vlogs.
The funny and charming character that fitted into any role was missed by fans all over India. Without knowing the reason for Akash’s absence, fans were both confused and upset.
However, breaking the silence, Akash uploaded a video on his YouTube channel- Akash Dodeja, on the 2nd of August, explaining minute details of why he was unable to make or appear in any videos.
Out of the 90 videos on his channel, this has become the most viewed video on his channel by clocking 5M+ views and more than 5,50,000 likes since uploading the video.
He began by apologizing to his fans for his sudden disappearance. “No social media influencer would want to be away from their work, their social media platform. But life sometimes throws up certain situations and we are helpless,” he said.
He further explained that after the Valentine’s Day video with Ashish Chanchlani, he received a call from his sister, who was crying. She explained that their mother had suddenly fainted and asked him to return home immediately.
A panicked, worried and confused Akash rushed home and then hospital to his mother. After a CT scan, they found out that his mother had a ruptured vessel in the left hemisphere of her brain, resulting in a hemorrhagic stroke.
The doctors from the local hospital asked Akash to move her mother to another specialised hospital since they neither had the necessary equipment nor specialised doctors. Akash and his family shifted his mother to Lilavati Hospital in Bandra.
Explaining the two-hour ride in the ambulance to Lilavati Hospital, Akash said, “Those two hours were the toughest hours of my life. We had no specialists, no doctors in the ambulance with us. And for a very long time, I was not able to comprehend the situation. It felt like all of it was a dream and not reality.”
Upon reaching Lilavati Hospital, the family breathed a sigh of relief as Akash’s mother was put into a causality ward and from there an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Further scans of the brain showed that there was a 7mm bleeding that later formed a clot. It resulted in the brain shifting from the centre to 4mm to the right side.
Upon discussing with the doctors, the family found out that under any circumstances, the situation was a “50-50”. Be it operational or non-operational, everything had a 50% chance. And that it was operable only if there was single bleeding. If the patient faced another bleeding within 72 hours, the case will go “haywire”.
Akash said that he waited those 72 hours on a bench outside the ICU without eating or sleeping. The family was called in again and again for paperwork and permission to take certain crucial measures in the treatment.
“Every time they called me in, I was hoping to hear that my mother was fine now and out of danger. And seeing her there with several equipment and pipes in her mouth and hands and neck, I felt devastated. People might think that that’s how it is in an ICU, but looking at your own family like that is unbearable,” he said.
After 72 hours, Akash received the good news that there was no other bleeding and his mother could quite possibly be safe now. But the clot had already built up and would take a lot of time to deal with. The clot paralyzed the right side of her body. She was put on a ventilator and when she gained consciousness; she felt extreme pain due to the ventilator. To deal with it, a tracheostomy was performed successfully and his mother felt a little relief.
Upon gaining complete consciousness, Akash and his family found out that his mother had suffered from a memory loss. “I wanted to talk to her and tell her that we were so happy that she opened her eyes and she was out of danger. But she didn’t recognise me and it felt really bad,” he said.
After a few days, she recognised her husband, and the family was overjoyed upon realising that the memory loss was a temporary effect. Upon complete recovery of memory, “the depression kicked in”. Akash said that his mother, who was always lively and hardworking, suddenly found herself in a hospital bed with half of her body not working and that she had a really, really tough time dealing with it.
Depression, already a serious condition, is extremely bad in such a state because it hinders physical recovery, too. Akash’s mother was treated with rigorous physiotherapy and asked to be shifted to a local hospital. “The sooner she gets out of this environment, the sooner she will feel,” the doctors told Akash.
Akash’s mother had to be given an adequate amount of physiotherapy, but it couldn’t be completely achieved due to the tracheostomy. Upon all of this, the second wave of the pandemic hit and COVID-19 patients started to flow in the hospital. “My mother had an opening in her neck that directly connected to her lungs,” Akash said, explaining how dangerous the situation was.
His mother was shifted to her home, where she had to be taken care of by her family members only and no professional care was available continuously. Akash said that he had dedicated himself to anyhow take her mother towards progress so that the right side of her body starts working again.
A little happiness trickled in as on his birthday, his friends visited him with a cake that had various comments from fans asking where Jadoo was and they wanted him back, which was written on the cake.
Gradually, his mother showed success and her right hand and leg started to move and it was a big relief for Akash and his family. Akash was then asked to come back to creating videos, but he couldn’t face the camera.
“People think that it’s just coming in front of the camera and having a conversation, but it’s not that easy. For a person who went through so much in such a short amount of time, jumping back to the previous mindset and routine isn’t easy,” he said.
Akash further explained how he was not able to act or perform in front of the camera. He thought that his career as an actor and content creator was over. On the other hand, entire conspiracies were being made that “Jadoo and Ashish Chanchlani Vines had a conflict” and “Jadoo has died of COVID-19” and whatnot and it was a weird thing for Akash.
But there were also hundreds of thousands of positive comments asking where Jadoo was and that they wanted him back as soon as possible and that whatever he might be dealing with, may God give him strength. “This was really overwhelming and really a source of strength for me,” Akash said.
He was really thankful that even after six months, he was actively remembered and asked to be in videos. He said that huge celebrities are forgotten in a small period and the industry changes in the blink of an eye. “But my fans, who’re basically my family, remembered me and were asking for me and praying for me and motivating me. It’s all just magical and precious to me,” he said.
He shared a short clip with his mother who seemed happy and healthy. Akash asked her if he should go back and make videos and vlogs again to which, his mother said,” Of course go! And make videos like you used to!”
Akash ended the video with a note on how he and his mother had a small argument and they hadn’t talked for a couple of days which he said was common in today’s time and that such ups and downs are a part of life.
“I regret it now that I realise that I could’ve spent more quality time with my mom. I could’ve talked to her and smiled with her. So I’d ask you all to spend as much time as you can with your loved ones instead of regretting it later,” he said and ended the video.
With the confirmation of Jadoo’s comeback, Akash and fans in the comments could be seen virtually curling up into cotton balls upon hearing the emotional story of their favourite actor opening up to them and sharing such a crucial part of his life with them.
Hopefully, this is just a happy beginning of a new happy story for both Akash and Jadoo, his mother, his family and his fans, eagerly waiting to see him in action.