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Sudha Chandran: After my amputation, my father told me, ‘I shall be that leg that you have lost’

The relationship that actress Sudha Chandran shared with her father was absolutely surreal. The actress says that she owes it all to her father and his teachings went a great way in shaping her personality.

Some years back, Sudha met with an accident that, unfortunately, led to the amputation of her leg. However, her father’s support and understanding made this loss bearable for the actress and gave her immense strength.

“The biggest two awards that came to me were from my father. The first award that came to me was When I was lying in the hospital, after my amputation, he walked up to me and said, ‘I shall be that leg that you will lose’. So, I asked my father for how long and he promised me and said, ‘I don’t know how long I will live with my dear daughter, but I will pray to God that he gives me that long life that I shall make you successful. Take you to the peak of success and only, then leave this world.’ And that is the promise that he made me and fulfilled. The second award that came to me was when I danced for the first time with my artificial limb. After the performance, he came home and he touched my feet and I said, ‘Dad, what are you doing?’ And he said, ‘Sudha I am not bowing my head down in front of my daughter, but I’m touching the feet of Lord Saraswati who reigns in your legs.’ I think this was the biggest tribute that came to me from my father,” she says.

She adds, “I don’t think I would need a special day to talk about my father because I think 365 days would be less. For me, like for every girl, her first hero is her father and the same is with me as well. For me, the concept of hero worship started with my father and soon I was fully trained and looked upon by him.”

She had always wanted to emulate her father, she says, adding, “I still remember, I always wanted to become like him. He was a very straightforward, honest, professionally very committed person to whatever he did. He came from a very humble family because he was the eldest son so he took the responsibility of his mother and his father. He came to Mumbai when he was 13 and worked so hard that he settled his entire family. So, for me, he was always a person that I looked up to and what I’ve always wanted to become in life, and I am so fortunate that I could follow in his footsteps because he taught me important things like to keep working hard and don’t expect returns, they will come to you. He taught me to never follow money, but to follow talent because if you are talented, money will follow talent. He told me to never look up and say ‘God I don’t have these things in my life’, instead say, ‘Thank you God, you at least gave me the basic necessities of my life.’ So all this made me a very self-contained person.”

She adds, “I lost him last year. And since then, there has been a very big vacuum in my life. But that was the day that I promised him before he left this house I said that I will continue to walk on the path that you dreamt for me. And till I meet you again, I promise you that. I shall never ever betray that you have laid down for me and I shall continue to do that. It’s not a moment that I don’t think about my father.”

Talking about another thing her father taught her, Sudha says, “Another beautiful characteristic that I want to definitely mention about my dad is that he never minced words and that’s exactly the qualities that have come into me. Yes. Many times, it has not got very positive results because sometimes people don’t like it when you’re too blunt and too open. But my father always said, ‘You don’t have to satisfy and make the world happy. When you go to sleep at night, you should have a contended undisturbed sleep. And if you’re able to sleep like that, which means that you have done no harm to anybody.’ So, I think that is another very important characteristic of my father that I have imbibed.”

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