Born to K.D.Chandran and Mrs. Thangam, the beautiful Sudha Chandran had an exposure to the world of plush cultural heritage as both her parents were great lovers of art themselves. She developed a love for dance at the tender age of three and her parents having noticed that, decided to enroll her under a formal training.
She was taken to the highly acclaimed Kala Sadan in Mumbai where initially, the principal then, K.S.Ramaswamy Bhagavatar refused to admit a young girl of her age but after a lot of persuasion, after seeing the girl perform he allowed it. She was admitted to the legendary school of dance at the age of five.
Sudha delivered her first stage performance at the tender age of eight. Alongside she continued with her common education in St. Joseph’s Convent. Wherever she went, she was awarded for her excellent dancing skills and by the time she was seventeen, she had delivered seventy five stage performances, all of them being extensively appreciated.
However, in 1981 on the 2nd of May, she met with an accident that changed her life. On an overnight bus journey on a pilgrimage, she along with her parents had a terrible accident when their bus collided with a truck resulting in the immediate death of the driver. Sudha had extended her legs out straight and her legs were stuck. After hours of struggle her legs were successfully pulled out. She was taken to the nearby hospital where the doctor plastered her leg. This turned out to be a mistake as the leg developed gangrene and had to be amputated.
Disappointment crept into Sudha’s life as she felt the failure of fulfilling her dreams and expectations and those of her parents. She went on to attain a B.A degree and an M.A degree in economics from Mithibai College, Mumbai. Despite pain, she refused to use a wheelchair and continued walking. Half a year after the amputation, she came across an article about a doctor, Dr. Sethi of Jaipur who manufactured artificial legs. The doctor assured her that with the light aluminium legs, she could once again chase her dreams and Sudha was back in Mumbai with a dash.
But it was not as easy as it sounds. In an interview, Sudha said that it was like starting afresh. Her body had to respond and adapt to her new body part, which felt completely alien. It was challenging. But she was not the one to lose hope. Instead she channelized her disappointment into perfection and with tremendous determination she was once again perfoming on stage. Previously awarded the ‘Nritya Mayuri’ by the dance academy and having received the ‘Bharatnatyam and Nav Jyoti’ from the Telugu academy, the dancer got the audience to break out into a loud applause.
The hot dancer did not fail to attract the attention of the film directors and soon the legendary Ramoji Rao cast her in A.Srinivasan’s directorial venture, Mayuri. The film which is based on the dancer’s life itself was as a super hit and the hot dancer turned actress, went forth to win the National Award (Jury) for her act in it. There was no looking back for her as she bagged roles in numerous movies thereafter and is widely known for her roles in Bollywood movies like Kabhi Idhar Kabhi Udhar, Chashme Baddoor, Young and Aparajita.
Sudha has also been seen in various roles on the silver screen. We all know the flamboyant Ramola Sikand of Kahin Kisii Roz fame. Known for her experimental dressing style with flashy saris, heavyset jewelleries and designer bindis, her character was an instant hit among the audiences and managed to gather enough hatred. Well, that is what villains are supposed to do, isn’t it? The pretty actress however accredits her inner strength for the on screen malevolence, consequently for making the character of ‘Ramola Sikand’ larger than life, so much that the legendary Ramesh Sippy placed her in the second position of his personal list of favorite villains, right after the immensely popular character of Gabbar of the movie, Sholay. She has also appeared as a judge in various dance reality shows.
Often idolized for her will power, Sudha is one example of someone who has denied her fate and rewritten it with her positive attitude. She has been the face for IBN’s show focusing on women entrepreneurs in 2011 and says that failure has strengthened her and has made her the person that she is today. We wish her all the very best and are in awe of her inner strength and will power.