My Story: The Tunnel Was Dark But It Was Not The End Of The Road For Me

Image Credit: Atypical Advantage

Atypical Advantage

My Story: 'The Tunnel Was Dark But It Was Not The End Of The Road For Me'

Rashmi Patil was diagnosed with hearing impairment when she was child. Defying all odds, she learnt Bharatnatyam and even pursued an advanced degree in it. She also won awards at national level and participated in beauty pageants.

I learnt how to make the best out of life at a very early age by trying my hand at various things, from dancing, cooking, and modelling to running my own business.

I was diagnosed with hearing impairment when I turned 1 and a year later I started wearing hearing aids. After learning how to read lips I learnt to speak through two years of training at the Central School for the Deaf in Mumbai.

With my mother's support, I learnt to cope with my studies in a regular school. For me and my brother, who has autism, my mother underwent several parental guidance courses. My mother, Archana Patil, a Pathologist and my father, Suresh a lawyer are my two great sources of inspiration.

I completed my schooling but due to my health conditions, I had to quit my degree course.

This phase was difficult not just for me but even for my family who had taken so much effort to make sure I completed my education. Sure, the tunnel was dark but it was not the end of the road. Together, we are a team that believes in overcoming any hurdles.

I turned towards dancing, my true passion. I completed my diploma in Nritya Yoga from an Open University, with a 90% score.

Everyone questioned how a person who cannot hear, matches her steps with Bharatnatyam music. They said it was a difficult dance form and I wouldn't be able to pursue it. But for a child who was determined and eager to learn the dance form since the age of 6, nothing seemed impossible.

I started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 6 from Guru Dr Mary Mac Mohan Paul. I have completed an advanced course in Bharatanatyam and even went on to teach dance in the same class for a few years.

Today, I am a national-level Bharatanatyam dancer and a choreographer. Till now I have given 40 stage performances. In October 2020, I won the competition conducted by Le Rythme, affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, India.

Alongside dancing, I focused on modelling and participated in three beauty pageants and brought home laurels too. Apart from that, I have been running my own handmade jewellery business for the last 5 years. I have sold jewellery all over the world.

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Writer : Atypical Advantage
Creatives : Ankita Singh

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