Sudha Chandran

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Sudha Chandran TheHindu.com
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If you look up the synonyms of the word dance it will give you “hop” and “leap.” Essentially, the words—hop, leap, dance—involve movements that put so much strain on the legs. For “hop” and “leap,” there’s no need to be graceful. Now, dance would require a great deal of graceful body movements; otherwise it would not be a dance at all. Walking with one foot—yes a lot of people do that; but dancing? It does not look easy, does it?

Achievements

Why Sudha Chandran is Extraordinary

Every now and then, we see and hear stories of amputees making it big in their chosen field. That’s nothing new. For us who have a complete set of arms and legs, the triviality of it oftentimes undermine the inspiration we could draw from these success stories.

An Amputee Bharatanatyam Dancer

Imagine an amputee dancing. Not exactly a pretty sight, right? Sure, we see these antics in carnivals and we watch in order to have some good laugh. But to watch an amputee dance a complex Indian traditional dance called the Bharatanatyam—now that’s not just for laughs. If you haven’t heard of Sudha Chandran, then this is a perfect reading for you.

If you Google images of Sudha Chandran, you would see a beautiful (even hot) and elegant Indian woman. Her elaborate accessories and signature bindis are breathtaking. Seeing her perform is like watching the ‘creator’ of dance showing how Bharatanatyam should be done.

Sudha went to a prestigious dancing school when she was five because at three years old, her mother saw her potential. Before she even became of legal age, she was already gaining attention because of her talent.

Losing a Leg in an Accident

She is a perfect picture of success… yet she is missing a leg. Sudha got into a vehicular accident where she sustained a small cut on her right leg and a fracture in her right femur. Nothing serious, really; even the doctor who treated her did not take it seriously and just covered the cut and left it to heal by itself. Only that instead of healing, it developed gangrene.

Gangrene is what becomes of wounds that get infected. In her case, the small cut turned into a life-threatening condition. Between dying and losing a leg, her parents decided she’d rather have her leg amputated. But for a dancer, legs are life.

Sudha, missing a leg, could no longer be a dancer. At least, that’s what happens to any regular person. But regular does not accurately describe Sudha as a person or a dancer for that matter. She is everything a regular person is not.

Dancing with One Leg

After momentarily mourning the loss of her leg, Sudha came to her senses and started to look for ways in order to live normally again. That’s where the ‘Jaipur foot’ comes in. The reason you don’t see or notice Sudha’s disability, if you could call it that, is because of her custom-made ‘Jaipur foot,’ a limb prosthetics made of wood and rubber.

If we have to provide an illustration of her, Cinderella trying on the glass shoe comes to mind. Unlike Cinderella though, Sudha did not need a prince to rescue her. She did it single-handedly—of course, with a little help from her ‘Jaipur foot.’

Top Reasons why Sudha Chandran is Extraordinary

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