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From footwear designer to India’s first girl 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 far more.

India’s first girl polo participant, she launched into this journey when she was 40, difficult stereotypes about age. Nevertheless it was footwear designing that she fell in love with first. In between, Shah did a number of different outstanding issues like leaping off a airplane, 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 study to play the drum too and established herself as a DJ subsequent.

In a latest unique interplay with, the proprietor of the polo crew Rinaldi Polo opened up about her life, her struggles, feeling overwhelmed whereas reaching so many issues in life, and why she needs ladies of the nation to maintain working arduous.


You’re India’s first girl polo participant, turning skilled at 40. You have got defied stereotypes about age. How do you’re feeling?

It’s the toughest factor I’ve ever performed in my life. I wish to imagine I’ve damaged stereotypes and I’m very happy with myself to have even reached the place I’m at present. I’ve my very own polo crew, and I’ve three professionals in my crew. However, I don’t get skilled charges to play, regardless that I’m taking part in at knowledgeable degree. I’m a patron and play with my crew. Most significantly, I’m so grateful that polo got here into my life and altered it endlessly. Hope I can encourage the youth and be an instance that age is only a barrier and fervour 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 effectively. My first entry within the sport was after I went to look at a polo match in Mumbai and fell in love. That’s after I immediately knew that I needed to play.

Whereas I had made up my thoughts, the very 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 direction of it as a result of I really like journey and hard sports activities.

After that, I solely rode horses for a yr to strengthen my using and was satisfied that is what I needed 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. (Photograph: PR handout)

What was your loved ones’s response once you first instructed them of your resolution?

The issues I’ve performed are often not the norm for most ladies. So initially, my dad and mom weren’t essentially the most supportive, however as soon as they noticed my dedication and arduous work, they supported me in each means.

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 previous after I was India’s first shoe designer. I needed 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 roughly 5,000 brides at a time limit. It gave me the braveness to be extraordinary and taught me that nothing is unimaginable if you’re passionate and keen to place within the arduous work.

You have got additionally established your self as an digital drummer and a DJ…

I imagine one ought to study as a lot as they’ll within the one life that they’re given. Rising up, I at all times needed to be an athlete or musician. After 15 years of dedication to my work and getting cash, I took two years’ sabbatical so I may 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 college in Amsterdam. From there, it was no turning again as I’ve performed many gigs and gained 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 may 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 might have felt overwhelmed?

Completely! Many instances. However, I imagine this stuff can solely be a hurdle in your targets. I’ve learnt to beat and hold shifting forward.

What are you engaged on at present?

I’ve been in Goa engaged on my music, and I’ll quickly launch my mental property in music, which will likely be an occasion right here. So at present I’m engaged on that.

How a lot significance do you give to health — each of the thoughts and the physique?

Lots of significance, as a result of with out it I might not be capable to do what I do at present. 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 few months?

The pandemic has been insightful, and I’ve learnt loads. It has made me a calmer and extra affected person individual. 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 tens of millions of ladies and women within the nation on discovering the braveness to do one thing outstanding in life?

One of the best recommendation given to me by my dad and mom has been: there isn’t any substitute for arduous work and dedication.

Something that you’re notably 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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