Like kids her age, bed-time stories fascinated little Vandana so much that she fell in love with them. So, papa Raveendran donned the master story-teller’s hat everyday without fail until she grew up. Intentionally or not, one day, he passed on a real-life tale. It was about a woman called Sudha Chandran, who courageously surpassed destiny’s prank and danced her way to tinseltown after a freak accident snatched her leg away.
This was a revelation for Vandana that the cumbersome prosthetic limb attached down her left hip is no barrier. She mustered enough courage to learn how to ‘shake a leg’ with her cousins.
An accomplished classical dancer, Vandana V.R., like her super heroine, is making her M’town entry in a freshers’ outing LBW directed by debutant Shajeer Sha.
The 24 year-old never laments over the birth defect and the new role simply ups her confidence. “My past acting experience is a brief-time stint with a tele-serial during schooldays. To be honest, I am sitting fingers crossed for the movie’s release to see the surprise factor in my role. Of course, my share had some dance sequences,” she says modestly.
Until the age of six, Vandana was fully into music. Then, coaxing her parents, she joined a dance school. Over the years, she mastered bharatanatyam, kuchipudi, mohiniyattom, folk and cinematic dances.
The artificial limb is absent during her performances. Of the many accolades in her kitty, she cherishes one special occasion — meeting her role-model Sudha Chandran during a reality show, which was her dream come true moment.
“It’s so sad that the showbiz is still averse to people like me. In a couple of reality shows I participated, the organisers communicated this displeasure in different ways, sometimes out of my earshot. But I have no qualms and I am used to it. The approach from the makers of LBW is really laudable,” she says.
Year 2016 has been very fortunate for Vandana. She was one among the 10 ‘Women Excellence Award’ recipients from the Kerala State Social Welfare Board and the youngest of all. Dreaming of a secure job to support her dad, a daily wage labourer, she has her plans clear; to open a dance school and be a beacon of inspiration for many more special dancers....