Success does not enter the doors of life on its own. One has to stand up and hike on the stony path to welcome it. When physical challenges start limiting the walk, will power and determination acts as a crutch. Such is this story.
She started dancing at an early age of three. Her love for the art made her a rising star, with 75 stage performances under her belt, by the time she turned 16. But destiny had its own plans. Only when she realized her passion for dancing, life took a strange turn.
She met with a life-changing accident while travelling in a bus, leading to tissue death (gangrene) spreading all over her right foot, resulting in amputation. She got the Jaipur leg and crawled towards recovery over a period of three long years. But even after so many challenges, Sudha Chandran has proved to the world that nothing can stop her from chasing her passion.
In an effortless conversation with KenFolios, she talks about her inspiration that keeps her going in life.
“To forget everything and walk away, saying that it was just an accident, only an amputation, is not easy. It requires a lot of determination. I remember people coming home and telling me things like “we wish you could dance again.” But it is very important to accept a challenge. It is very gut-wrenching when you are staring at calamities in personal life and don’t know how to face them.
I have met people from all walks of life who would simply give me advices. When I was undergoing metamorphosis in life, trying to find clarity, they came and confused me even more. I knew I could achieve whatever I wanted on the basis of my education. But that was relatively easier. I desired to get something that I had lost because only when you lose something you understand its importance. I realized how much dancing meant to me only when I was told that I could never do it again.
I wanted to prove to the world that I could dance even with my amputated leg. So I put my mind, body, heart, and time to get back into my new ‘dancing shoes’. It was a painful process but with every step I understood that this is what I wanted. So I went to my dad and told him that I want to perform again which left him shocked. So my first show was completely sold as the morning newspaper read ‘Loses a Foot, Walks a Mile’. I was very nervous but unbelievingly, I performed with ease and received a standing ovation. And that is how it all started.
Today, most of us succumb to stress and either quit, leave the house, or commit suicide. But that’s not the answer to life’s challenges. Understanding that it is not going to be an easy fight but nonetheless trying and not giving up is important.
I believe that industry is the best place to be as I never saw any segregation here. When I came back after seven long years of hibernation, the industry gave me a warm welcome. I had to prove it to them that I was normal. But they never looked at my leg and considered it a hurdle. This increased my confidence and I worked hard to convince them that I can do this.
However, I think that everybody works hard in their own ways but apart from that, luck is very important. Everybody puts dedication and sincerity in their work but not everyone gets everything.
My journey till now was a roller coaster ride but a beautiful one at that. It has made me wiser, more knowledgeable, grounded, and has made me understand and respect relationship and my profession. At the end of the day, I thank God for all that he took away from me and everything he compensated me with. If I see the balance sheet, I feel that god has given me much more than what I had lost.
My life itself has been a message to people. I believe that one should not live an ordinary life. You just can’t take birth, get educated, get married, have babies, and die as a grandmother without contributing anything meaningful to the world. When I turn back, I see that I have led a very purposeful life. Even if I am around or not, somewhere, in some generation, Sudha Chandran will always be live on.”
Conceptualized by Shubha Shrivastava