Braving all odds, Nandita Neroor chose to pursue her love for dance.
Dancing is a very strenuous physical activity that requires a lot of stamina, exertion and hand-eye-feet co-ordination. It could be all the more so for someone with a titanium rod inserted into her spine to hold it in place and yet, that did not stop young Nandita Neroor from pursuing her passion.
Braving the pain
Born with a congenital anomaly and diagnosed with Kypho Scoliosis, a spine condition, when she was three years old, Nandita, now a Std X student at The School KFI, had to undergo a surgery at the age of seven, followed by months of painful rehabilitation and a couple of years of sporting an armour-like body brace. Those were the times when Nandita reveals that she found her inner strength. Once the support of the brace was no longer required and Nandita was free to lead a ‘normal’ life, the first thing she chose to do was learn Bharatnatyam. “I don’t know why, but I was really interested in dance and wanted to learn something new,” she explains of her choice.
Sense of achievement
Under the guidance of Guru Krishnakumari Narendran, Nandita took to the art form immediately and started performing on stage soon. She performed her arangetram in April 2008 and speaking of the experience, Nandita says, “I was nervous before the performance. But the experience of dancing on stage — there’s nothing like it!”
After this first major milestone was crossed, Nandita felt, “Yes! I’ve done it!”, and her parents and guru were obviously happy for her — that she has come this far despite all that she had undergone during her treatment and physical restrictions. “The rehabilitation is over but there are still some don’ts like no contact sports, no gymnastics, no diving and having to be careful about falling and physical injuries — these are the things applicable after any surgery,” says Nandita’s mother Mrs. Sumangali. “In school I am like every other girl and treated that way too, but people do look up to me,” says Nandita, who may become a doctor in the future — “I’m not sure…”
Nandita is busy balancing her academics and an array of performances lined up in the coming months; her practice sessions for which lasts up to three to four hours a day. Apart from dance, she has also completed Grade V in piano from Trinity College, learns swimming and music.
With so many things and more to keep her busy despite a reminder of her condition in her spine, Nandita is an inspiration for kids of her age and beyond.