From footwear designer to India’s first lady polo participant, Rinaa Shah on defying stereotypes | The Chhattisgarh

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June 16, 2021

The Chhattisgarh

Beyond The Region

From footwear designer to India’s first lady polo participant, Rinaa Shah on defying stereotypes

When requested to explain herself, Rinaa Shah used the adjectives ‘passionate’, ‘hardworking’, ‘decided’, ‘daring’, and ‘fearless’. She is all this and rather more.
India’s first lady polo participant, she launched into this journey when she was 40, difficult stereotypes about age. But it surely was footwear designing that she fell in love with first. In between, Shah did numerous different outstanding issues like leaping off a aircraft, occurring harmful treks, doing a little bit of automotive racing, mountaineering, and extra.
However, since her adventure-loving soul desired extra, she went on to be taught to play the drum too and established herself as a DJ subsequent.
In a latest unique interplay with indianexpress.com, the proprietor of the polo staff Rinaldi Polo opened up about her life, her struggles, feeling overwhelmed whereas reaching so many issues in life, and why she desires girls of the nation to maintain working onerous.
Excerpts:
You might be India’s first lady polo participant, turning skilled at 40. You could have defied stereotypes about age. How do you are feeling?
It’s the toughest factor I’ve ever performed in my life. I want to imagine I’ve damaged stereotypes and I’m very happy with myself to have even reached the place I’m right now. I’ve my very own polo staff, and I’ve three professionals in my staff. However, I don’t get skilled charges to play, though I’m enjoying at knowledgeable degree. I’m a patron and play with my staff. Most significantly, I’m so grateful that polo got here into my life and adjusted it perpetually. Hope I can encourage the youth and be an instance that age is only a barrier and keenness drives you at all times.

When did you fall in love with the game and what made you are taking it up professionally?
I’ve at all times been into sports activities and earlier than polo, I used to play tennis, squash and was a swimmer as properly. My first entry within the sport was after I went to observe a polo match in Mumbai and fell in love. That’s after I immediately knew that I wished to play.
Whereas I had made up my thoughts, the actual fact is that nobody in my household had even sat on a horse earlier than or been uncovered to horses on the whole. It was one thing that I used to be enthusiastic about, nevertheless alien it was to me. I used to be drawn in the direction of it as a result of I like journey and hard sports activities.
After that, I solely rode horses for a 12 months to strengthen my using and was satisfied that is what I wished to do, together with inspiring the youth of my nation.
Shah says she as soon as went to a polo match in Mumbai, and fell in love. (Picture: PR handout)
What was your loved ones’s response while you first advised them of your choice?
The issues I’ve performed are normally not the norm for most girls. So initially, my mother and father weren’t probably the most supportive, however as soon as they noticed my dedication and onerous work, they supported me in each method.
You began off as a footwear designer and constructed fairly a distinguished shopper base. Inform us about this ardour of yours.
Designing footwear was my past love and I used to be solely 23 years outdated after I was India’s first shoe designer. I wished to excel in my enterprise, and I devoted 15 years to make it tremendous profitable. I designed for a lot of celebrities in Bollywood and Hollywood, like Natalie Portman, Naomi Campbell, Shilpa Shetty, and extra. I additionally designed and made footwear for about 5,000 brides at a cut-off date. It gave me the braveness to be extraordinary and taught me that nothing is unattainable in case you are passionate and keen to place within the onerous work.

You could have additionally established your self as an digital drummer and a DJ…
I imagine one ought to be taught as a lot as they’ll within the one life that they’re given. Rising up, I at all times wished to be an athlete or musician. After 15 years of dedication to my work and earning profits, I took two years’ sabbatical so I might fulfill my two passions. I knew I used to be beginning late however I used to be not going to cease. In 2018, I began studying the drums, after which in 2019, I went to DJ faculty in Amsterdam. From there, it was no turning again as I’ve performed many gigs and received the tenth finest DJ in India. I’ve loads to realize within the music world and I’m engaged on that now.
Has it been a problem for you, to defy societal norms and expectations and chase your coronary heart?
It’s at all times been completely different, as society sees you in a different way. What I did was male-dominated or by no means performed. Lots of people put me down and by no means thought I might do it, however I knew that I can’t allow them to outline who I’m.

Has there ever been a second in your life when you’ve got felt overwhelmed?
Completely! Many instances. However, I imagine this stuff can solely be a hurdle in your objectives. I’ve learnt to beat and preserve shifting forward.
What are you engaged on presently?
I’ve been in Goa engaged on my music, and I’ll quickly launch my mental property in music, which shall be an occasion right here. So presently I’m engaged on that.
How a lot significance do you give to health — each of the thoughts and the physique?
Numerous significance, as a result of with out it I might not be capable of do what I do right now. Each thoughts and physique should be in optimum situation to realize issues in life.

How have the pandemic and lockdown experiences been for you? What has stored you busy in the previous couple of months?
The pandemic has been insightful, and I’ve learnt loads. It has made me a calmer and extra affected person particular person. Additionally, I learn the MindValley Lifebook which modified my life. The best way I’m, I at all times attempt to benefit from the state of affairs.
What’s your message to hundreds of thousands of ladies and ladies within the nation on discovering the braveness to do one thing outstanding in life?
The perfect recommendation given to me by my mother and father has been: there isn’t a substitute for onerous work and dedication.
Something that you’re significantly enthusiastic about presently?
I’m tremendous excited to launch my music IP in Goa, and hope I could make some historical past within the music world, too. Fingers crossed!
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