Sudha Chandran is not only a famous actress and Bharatanatyam dancer but also a symbol of courage, determination, and positivity. At an age when many of us are carefree about the future, Sudha Chandran’s life took an ugly turn.
She was only 17 when she lost her right leg in an unfortunate accident. Due to negligence during her initial treatment, she had to make a heartbreaking choice between her life or her leg. With no other option, the braveheart went for an amputation. But, what makes Sudha’s story is so inspiring is the fact that even after bearing so much of pain, Sudha didn’t lose hope. Rather, she made sure that the accident didn’t change the direction of her life.
While talking to HoB about her inspiring struggle, Sudha Chandran spoke about how she fell in love with dancing when she was only 3.5 years old:
“I began learning how to dance when I was 3 and a half years old. I would go to school, then go for my dance training and be back home only by 9:30 pm…and that’s what my early life was about. In my 10th exams, I stood first with 80% but instead of picking science for my further studies, I chose arts…just so that I could continue to dance. By this time I had performed at several events and done hundreds of stage shows…I was just about beginning when life took a strange turn.
While further sharing the details of the accident that changed her life forever, Sudha Chandran mentioned:
I was travelling from Trichy by bus, when we met with a major accident that left me with a fracture and some cuts — I was probably the least injured there. However, because of the heavy influx of patients, I was attended to by a couple of interns who forgot to attend to the cut on my right ankle and went ahead to wrap it up.
This resulted in my foot getting gangrene and because of the fear of it spreading throughout my body, my parents had to take the difficult decision of amputating my right foot. I was shattered because It was only then that I realised just how passionate I felt about dancing.
But as they say, winners never quit. Sudha Chandran put all her heart and courage into her recovery journey so that she could fight back her circumstances and start dancing again. Sharing the details of her painful recovery process, she mentioned:
I began to learn how to walk again and it took me 4 months to even walk straight. Once I got the Jaipor leg, it took me 3 years of physiotherapy to recover and feel normal again. I remember people would come home and say things like, ‘it’s so sad your dreams can’t come true’ or ‘we wish you could dance’ when I decided to re-learn what I had known my entire life– to dance.
It was a slow and painful process but with every step I learnt I knew that this is what I wanted. Finally one day, I went to my dad and told him that I was ready to perform again…and he was shocked! I was to perform in St.Xaviers college on Sunday when the Sunday morning headline read – ‘Looses a Foot, Walks a Mile’ and the show was completely sold out!
I began to get nervous before going up on stage when my Grandmother told me, ‘Don’t worry, God is with you…let the miracle happen.’ but I was so angry that I said, ‘If God was with me he wouldn’t ever do this to me!”
Believe it or not, the show ended, I performed the Varanyam with ease and received a standing ovation.
It wasn’t just her audience who were in awe of Sudha Chandran, but also her own parents. Sharing the details of a heart-touching moment, Sudha mentioned how her father touched her feet and called her Goddess Sarasvati:
When I was home, my dad came upto me and touched my feet saying that I’m touching the feet of the Goddess Sarasvati because you have done the impossible and that has been the moment that touched me the most. It was after that, that I received so much respect from the media, got an offer to act in a film based on my life and received all of the opportunities that I have today. What my grandmother said was true — God was with me. Even if I didn’t see it then, he was with me all along and that’s the irony of life– that an accident so fatal, can still be a blessing in disguise.”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of Sudha Chandran as her inspiring story is a reminder that dreams do come true. Her courage and determination to fight against the life circumstances to start dancing again is an inspiration. We hope her inspiring story will give you the courage to fight back circumstances and turn your dream into reality.