P Vasanthakumari, better known by her stage name Thodupuzha Vasanthi, has acted in over 450 movies. She was a familiar face in Malayalam films and theatre, mostly essaying supporting roles. But a string of tragic incidents left her life in shambles. And her story will make you realise how lucky most of us are!
Born into a family of talented artistes, Vasanthi had an enviable childhood. Her dance performance at the age of 16 in Udaya's Dharmakshetre Kurukshetre marked her debut in cinema. Until 2007, she had a busy schedule, moving from one set to another and acting in at least two movies a day.
Apart from movies, she was also appeared in 16 tele-serials and 100 plays.
However, tragedy struck her after her father KP Ramakrishnan Nair, who was also a theatre actor, was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away a year after, forcing the actress to take a short break from acting.
She was planning to make a comeback after three years, when her husband Rejeendran was diagnosed with the same deadly disease. He was bedridden for years before his death in 2010. The couple had no children. Soon, her mother also breathed her last, leaving Vasanthi all alone.
However, due to her own poor health condition, Vasanthi couldn't act for long. The actress was last seen onscreen in Asif Ali-starrer Ithu Thanda Police in 2016. But the movie, which revolves around the incidents that happen at a women police station, failed to make ripples at the box office.
To meet her ends, Vasanthi had even started a dance school in her house, but it was also closed two years ago after her health deteriorated.
Things went worse as her diabetes aggravated. Vasanthi's right leg had to be amputated. When the infection spread, doctors had to cut off above the knee and it cost almost Rs 4 lakh.
That was not all, she was even diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure. So far, she had undergone 20 radiation sessions and is now fed only liquids through a tube inserted through her nose.
"One of my kidneys is not functioning. My hearing is also not good. I need at least Rs 7 lakh for my treatment but I do not know where to find that money. I don't have anyone to help me out. I have earned only this house from my acting career," Vasanthi is quoted as saying by Onmanorama.
Vasanthi says that she now lives with the pension of Rs 7,000 from Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) that had also offered Rs 70,000 when her leg was amputed.
"Many actors do visit Thodupuzha for movie shoots but no one cares to see me. I do not have any complaints because I know cinema is far from real life," she added.
Nevertheless, she still wishes to be part of Malayalam cinema if the character is in crutches!
Bank account details:
Mrs Vasanthi P
Acct No: 11210100032566,
Bank & Branch: Federal Bank, Thodupuzha
Watch the video of Vasanthi here: