'When we are busy with the everyday bhag-daud, one fine day a health scare just stops it all.'
'I am shocked. A healthy happy Sonali is detected with cancer.'
'But one thing I know for sure -- this lovely girl with come out of it, emerging a winner.'
Divya Dutta paid a heart-warming tribute to her 'first friend in the industry,' Sonali Bendre in The Tribune newspaper.
When Sonali revealed that she had been diagnosed with cancer, the news shook Divya just as it did everyone else.
In her message, Divya looks back at the time when she was selected for the Stardust Academy, and had to move to a bungalow for three months along with six other young girls.
One of them was Sonali.
They had been selected among 50,000 candidates from all over India to be trained as actors.
Divya and Sonali shared a room, and gradually, a friendship grew.
'She gradually became very protective about me, like an elder sister, she would take care, if any guy would try flirting with me, she would reprimand them. When I fell off a horse and got multiple fractures, she just took over, right from feeding me, giving me medicines to helping me change, everything,' Divya writes in The Tribune.
After the course, the two kept in touch and would visit each other's houses. Divya especially remembers the 'yummy Maharashtrian lunch' she had with Sonali's family.
'When we sat together, we would discuss our experiences in the industry. We both came from protected backgrounds but I was vulnerable and apprehensive but she was clear and confident, and a fighter,' she writes.
'Years passed by. We weren't so much in touch but whenever we met it was like the good old times.'
When Divya authored a book called Me And Ma, Sonali attended its launch in Mumbai.
'She had met Ma, she was an integral part of my journey and hence I really wanted her to be there,' Divya writes.
The last time they spoke was a phone call from Sonali, saying 'aisa hi kiya phone.'
'And today I am baffled reading this news. Life overwhelms me. When we are busy with the everyday bhag-daud, one fine day a health scare just stops it all. I am shocked. A healthy happy Sonali is detected with cancer...'
'But one thing I know for sure -- this lovely girl with come out of it, emerging a winner. She will fight this battle too strongly, like all her previous ones. She will win it with a smile,' she writes.
After Divya tweeted her piece, Sonali promptly replied, writing, 'Divya, tumne toh rula diya! Love you! Thank you.'