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JYOTHI VENKATESH REMEMBERS K.D. CHANDRAN, SUDHA CHANDRAN’S FATHER

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K.D. Chandran better known to the readers of bollyy.com as the frank and forthright father of Sudha Chandran who had also acted in Mahesh Bhatt’s films like Junoon and Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke as the father of Juhi Chawla died yesterday.

Among the other films of his are Rajkumar Santoshi’s China Gate, Rajkumar Santoshi’s Pukaar, Rakesh Roshan’s Koi Mil Gaya, Main Madhuri Dixit Hoon, Shararat, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Teesra Kaun , Tere Mere Sapne , Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai etc.

He was 84 years old and was suffering from a lot of health related problems including dementia for quite some time.

Chandran Saar was actually related to me. He was the grandson of M.K. Ganapathy Iyer and the eldest son of Kizhakottu Madam Doraiswamy Iyer and Sharada.

Not many are aware of the fact that Chandran was occupying a very responsible post at the USIS Library in Mumbai as the Chef Librarian besides being a well known dramatist in the South Indian circles in Mumbai.

I remember my father visiting Chandran Uncle even before Sudha Chadran hads emerged as a star to be reckoned with after making her debut with the Tamil film Mayoori which in turn was remade as Nache Mayuri.

Sudha’s mother Thangam Mami was a dutiful housewife, who used to look after the visitors very well, offering us teenage kids a lot of homemade dishes and sweets with, especially during Deepavali.

The typical South Indian filter coffee which she used to make was divine and simply out of this world, which Sudha also has inherited.

When I whatsapped to Sudha my heartfelt condolences on her father’s death yesterday, Sudha promptly wrote back to me telling me that with the sad demise of her father Chandran, she feels like it is the end of an era in her life.

Sudha was deeply attached to her jovial father, especially after the death of her dear mother almost a decade ago.

You quite often start realizing the immense value of a person only after he or she is no more amidst us in this world.

I regret not having been in touch with K.D. Chandran Saar who was quite senior to me, even though I used to be in touch with Sudha every now and then, even after her marriage to Ravi Dang way back in 1994, exactly after she had made her debut ten years ago with Mayuri in 1984.

Mayuri was actually made on her own life and times, based on how she had lost her leg in 1981 after a major accident in the South, due to the wrong diagnosis of the doctor.

Subsequently she had to opt for a Jaipur foot. Sudha continues to be not only a good actress but also a wonderful dancer even after she had to undergo operation to get her Jaipur foot and continues to be an inspiration to millions for her will power and consistency. Sudha is known as one of the best dancers that India has ever produced.

Sorry readers, I am digressing from K.D Chandran to her daughter Sudha. Though Chandran was a conservative Tamil Brahmin like me, he was very modern and progressive at heart.

I have spent several wonderful evenings sitting with him and drinking especially when Sudha used to go to outdoor shootings with her mother Thangam, especially since Sudha was against his drinking so much so that his wife and his daughter Sudha had put a blanket ban on his drinking out of concern for his health , after he had retired from his service at the USIS Library.

I remember he was angry when I convinced him that it was only for his good that Sudha and Thangam Mami had put the blanket ban on his drinking

Once I remember I had to fly to Chennai for the outdoor shooting of a film. The flight time was at 5.30 am sharp and when my father suggested that I stay back the night at Chandran Uncle’s house at Vile Parle and catch the flight early in the morning, I hesitated a little bit because I did not want to disturb the tranquility of the Chandran household but when my late father rang up Chandran and asked if I could spend the night at their house, Chandran called me on the phone and told me that I was welcome to stay the night at his house. I reached their house with my baggage at 10 pm after I had dinner at my place at Worli.

What I saw the next morning was a pleasant surprise for me. Sudha was a top actress after Mayuri and yet she had got up in the morning by 4 am and prepared the filter coffee for me at 4.15 am and I caught an autorickshaw to reach the airport which was just five minutes away from their house.

What shocked me even more was the fact that Sudha herself was washing the vessels in her kitchen because she did not want to wake her mother up.

I think what endeared Chandran Saar to me was the fact that when one morning when he called me to come to his house by 11 am since he had bought two bottles of scotch at the duty free shop at the airport, I declined his offer instead of landing at his place to avail of free scotch.

Chandran Saar called me three times that day, once at 12.30 noon, then again at 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm to tell me that five friends had come to his place and there was only a half bottle left and asked me to hurry up and come but I frankly told him that I didn’t want to drink during the day and hence I did not reach his house in the morning.

Once when he was in a foul but frank mood, at a party he told Ramraj Nahata, (father of today’s trade analyst Komal Nahta) for whom I was freelancing for his trade weekly Film Information that besides him who was a teetotaler, I was the only other journalist friend of his who didn’t leave anything just to go and have mofat ka scotch at his place.

I thanked my stars that I did not accept Chandran Saar’s invitation that day just for a lark.

I will miss Chandan Mama forever and pray God to give strength to his daughter Sudha to bear his loss