Most Indians are familiar with the name of danseuse Sudha Chandran but few know the story behind this woman. Sudha’s parents were art lovers and seeing her inclination towards dancing, took her to Kala Sadan to learn classical dancing at the young age of five. Sudha’s association with the stage began at the age of eight. By the age of 17, she had given over 75 performances.
One day, the bus she was travelling in collided with a truck and Sudha’s legs were badly injured. Eventually, her right leg had to be amputated. To take a dancer’s legs is equivalent to taking their life. Sudha fought bravely to come to terms with her situation. Six months after the amputation, Sudha read about Dr. Sethi who manufactured artificial limbs. Dr. Sethi fixed Sudha with a Jaipur foot and she began the painful task of learning to walk with it. Sudha dreamed of dancing on her Jaipur foot but there were many a slip between the cup and the lip. Every time she wore the Jaipur foot and danced her knee would pain terribly and begin to bleed. She went back to Dr. Sethi and he watched her dance and had a new Jaipur foot made to incorporate her movements. The new Jaipur foot still hurt and made her knee bleed. Finally, the day dawned when she was to give her performance. She was worried because people had certain expectations from her as she had done several dance shows as a professional dancer before her accident. However, the moment she stepped on to the stage she forgot about her foot and just got swept away with the music. When she was done dancing the audience gave her a standing ovation.
A famous producer decided to produce a film based on her life story. The film was titled ‘Mayuri’ and Sudha Chandran was cast as the protagonist. The film was a raging hit and it marked Sudha’s entry in to acting. Over the years, Sudha has continued to grow. Sudha continues to dance with her Jaipur foot, captivating audiences with not just her grace and her style but her innate strength and confidence.