Animator Charu Khandal fights for life in a Mumbai hospital even as friends emphasise her resilience.
IT takes immense strength and willpower to be bedridden with such near-fatal injuries and yet laugh and reassure your loved ones that you will soon be back on your two feet.” These are the moving words that a close friend uses to describe Charu Khandal,now better known as the animator of Ra.One,who sustained severe injuries on Saturday night in an accident when a car rammed into the auto-rickshaw she was travelling in. “Charu has a strong will to live and that is what will help her survive,” said a friend referring to her brief conversation with Khandal when she was out of coma for a while on Monday.
A Jaipur girl,Khandal is the eldest of four siblings and one with creative leanings in a family of academics. Good at painting and sketching,she chose to pursue animation. In 2007,she moved to Delhi where she studied animation at the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics. Following a good performance at the academy,she was transferred to its Mumbai office in 2009. Her stint with Shah Rukh Khan’s production house Red Chillies Entertainment began with Ra.One where she was hired as part of Ra.One’s VFX team. Highly adventurous and curious,she would take off for trips to the outskirts of Mumbai almost every weekend. “We are both from Jaipur but it is in Mumbai that I met her and we bonded over many such treks,” reminisces Nikhil Kashyap,a publicist friend who now knows her for three years. What breaks his heart,he says,is that the 28-year-old may never be able to walk again.
Her fiance,Sagar Thacker,whom she met two years ago,confirms that they were planning to get engaged soon and the wedding was planned by this year-end. Too disturbed to talk further,he said that he is by Khandal’s side,hoping for her speedy recovery. The animator’s treatment is on but the medical expenses remain a big concern for the Khandal family,added a friend. While some senior officials from Red Chillies have visited her in the hospital,the company,as part of their policy,has asked the employees to refrain from speaking to the media.