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Sashaying down the ramp of life

A woman means more than motherhood, homemaker or a professional. She is an epitome of beauty, of the mind and soul. Ask Gladrags, Mrs India, 2001, who lives in Kochi now

EARLY IN life she set out to rewrite the rules of the game; when children her age were playing with dolls she would retreat into a corner and diligently perform her yoga asanas essaying to discipline the mind, body and soul. The connection between the three was evident to this nine-year-old as was the belief that if the three could be controlled wonders could be weaved; "it could glide us through the tough terrain of life". By the time she was done with her teens, braces and pigtails, Rashmi Mathur had a couple of beauty titles under her belt and clearly, life was on a roll.

Enter yet another cantonment kid to sashay the catwalk, steamroll all obstacles and live life on her own terms. She's done everything that the glamour world has to offer. From participating and winning beauty pageants, ramp modelling for big names such as Tribhovan Das Bhimji and Bombay Dyeing, anchoring stage shows, theatre acting, Bharatnatyam to radio jockeying. A finalist in the Miss India contest held in 1990, flying high comes easy to this Air Force officer's daughter. No, she hadn't won the title but the lady knew what it takes to be a winner. And so when marriage happened she didn't allow it to interrupt her life. Rashmi didn't throw in the towel, settle for a life of motherhood and call it a day. The fire in her belly still raged. When the announcement for the Gladrags Mrs. India contest was made in 2001 Rashmi, her husband and son were tucked away in back of beyond Guwahati. Not one to be pinned down by such remoteness she enrolled for the contest, picked up her shopping bag and headed straight to the solitary textile store in town. Thereafter the designer in her took over; Rashmi is a graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi. Along with a friendly, neighbourhood darzi whose stitching capabilities she stretched to limits, the duo produced a breathtaking Cinderella's gown. Rashmi wore this at the pageant and walked away with the First Runner-Up title at the Mrs. India contest. The event paid substantial tribute to the multi-faceted woman; one who could juggle innumerable roles. Unlike other titles, this one lauded her real accomplishments; a successful homemaker who was both creative and attractive. Earlier in one of the numerous rounds she had bagged the Miss Elegance title. Yet another feather in her cap and her resume was fast growing. Success sits easy on her slim shoulders; she is used to riding the winning wave.

Rashmi's finest hour however was sitting in the hot seat opposite film icon, Amitabh Bachchan on the Kaun Banega Crorepati show. It was a test of wits and intelligence; beauty for the time being could take a back seat. On the sets Rashmi rediscovered her identity and netted a cool Rs 3.2 lakh. "The money was totally incidental. My sole purpose was to experience the experience". And that has been the mantra for all the projects that she has undertaken. Now based in Kochi, Rashmi recently lent her voice to a Hindi disc. Even as she is open to modelling and disc jockeying the proposal comes with a caveat. Whatever the assignment, it has to integrate with her yogi state of mind. Meanwhile this perennial student of yoga treads the spiritual path and is out to eke the maximum benefits from an ancient philosophy.


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