Panthalam (Pathanamthitta): Lakshmi, a horse that was cast in the epic film 'Bahubali', is slowly recovering from an illness after it underwent a surgery. The mare, owned by Chikku, the owner of Nandana Travels based at Peroor, fell ill soon after its second delivery and was sick for nine months.
Chikku had bought the mare a year ago from Sathyamangalam in Tamil Nadu. However in three months Lakshmi fell seriously ill. It was taken to Kollam Veterinary Hospital where the animal was diagnosed with perianal fistula. Vets recommended surgery to which Chikku reluctantly agreed.
Lakshmi is no ordinary horse but one groomed to be a star. It raced to fame in the blockbuster film 'Bahubali' and has also made a strong screen presence in other films, including 'Romans' and 'Charlie,'
In 2017 Lakshmi gave birth to a male foal in Chikku’s stable. He was named 'Ayyappan’ as he was born on the day of 'Makaravilakku'.
People, including horse lovers from outside the district, started flocking to Chikku's Nandanam Farm in large numbers to see Ayyappan and star Lakshmi. For several months after delivery, the mare had not been keeping well and started showing symptoms of the illness.
The animal was subject to scanning and further examination before proceeding to surgery. A team led by surgeon Dr Ajith Pillai, Dr Sajaykumar of Mangad Hospital, Dr Sibi, house surgeons Ananthu, and Akhil and attender Vijayan administered anaesthesia to 'Lakshmi'.
On regaining consciousness, Lakshmi displayed uneasiness initially but soon sprung back on its four legs and started eating and drinking, much to the relief of Chikku.
Chikku also owns two more horses - Gowri and Bhim Shankar which he rents out for films, serials weddings, advertisements and campaigns. He also has collections of carts and chariots that are lend for shooting.
His love for animals is not just confined to horses. Nandanam farm has a vast collection of emu, turkey, guinea fowl, pigeons, swans, dogs and ornamental fish which are looked after by caretakers Vijayan and Ponnayya.