Chicken Soup for the Sole: Sudha Chandran

Imagine that you’re a talented young dancer whose career is just beginning to take off. Now imagine that you’re in a serious automobile accident that claims one of your legs. Most people would probably forgive you if you decided to leave dancing behind and pursue other interests. However, that is not the choice that Sudha Chandran decided to make!

A Promising Dance Career Derailed

Sudha Chandran was born in Mumbai, India in 1965. From the young age of 3.5 years old, she found herself captivated by the traditional Indian dance called Bharatanatyam. Most of her early life was consumed with dance lessons, and by the age of 16, she’d performed in “several events and done hundreds of stage shows”. It looked like a her career was just on the verge of taking off, when suddenly, the unexpected happened. A major bus accident combined with inadequate medical attention resulted in her right foot being amputated.

Finding Her Way Back to the Stage

After losing her foot, it took Sudha four months just to re-learn how to walk. She noted that several people told her that it was “sad that her dreams couldn’t come true”, yet instead of letting herself get disheartened, she decided to re-dedicate herself to dancing again. It was not an easy road. In fact, it took Sudha three years of therapy before she “started to feel normal again.” However, there was still a lot of doubt that she could perform again; in fact, even her own father was shocked when she told him she wanted to dance again. With the help of a prosthetic leg, Sudha found herself right where she’d left off before the accident. People in India were drawn to her story of perseverance, and her first show after the accident was sold out. Since then, she has appeared in dozens of movies and has become a inspiration to millions in her home country and beyond.

My name is Jessica Cox, and I love reading stories about people overcoming difficult circumstances while managing to stay positive. Being born without arms hasn’t slowed me down. If anything, it’s inspired me to continually challenge myself to achieve greater and greater things. If you’d like me to share my story with the attendees at your convention or religious gathering and help motivate them to start making positive changes, feel free to contact me.