Sunday, 27 August 2017

An interview with Ms Roshni Misbah (A Hijabi biker).

Q: Ma'am, you saved money for your first bike. So what were your feelings when you bought it and had your ride on it?
A: I saved it for a 150 CC actually, My dad added some money and I got a 250 CC. Riding a motor cycle was always on my mind and I had waited for 6 years. I had my first ride when I was in the 9th grade. Riding has always thrilled and having my own motorcycle was even better. It was also like a therapy for me as I was going through a rough patch. It  was fantastic.
Q: People usually have  stereotypical  mindset when it comes to women riding motorcycles. Can you share with us an incident that first revealed to you this adverse mindset?
A: OK, there have been really good incidences and some bad incidences, as such. I would like to share one of the good ones. There are more than 100 girls riding motorcycles in Delhi  itself, but it’s a very a rare sight, a girl riding a sports bike. Once I was at the traffic red light and a student in a school bus started shouting "Arrey  Arrey Arrey Didi  Didi Didi,  please lift the visor ",and the whole bus started shouting and the students started clapping. They really got excited and then all people in the cars, bikes, everyone there started looking at me, everyone gave way to me to move forward and that was really nice.

Q:Ma'am your family, except your father, was not very supportive with regards to your passion. So what gave you the courage to go on despite that?
A: Not really the family, but the friends and society, they were not really okay with me riding a motorcycle. My parents were really supportive, whatever the obstacles that came, my father used to say that, let my daughter do whatever she wants to do.
Q: I believe your fathers bike must have been the first one which you rode, so what role has he played in your life?
A:  My dad has been like a role model to me. Not just in the biking but I have learned everything from him. Biking is like in my genes, because my mother was also enthusiastic about cars and speed. So I think that’s  the combination I got.
Q: When you have girls come up to you and praise you for your work, how does it feel to have them look upon you as their role model?
A: It feels fantastic, it feels great, and sometimes I feel demotivated, but when I see those girls who started riding bikes after seeing me,. Moreover I  also ride bikes for a cause that is education for girls. So all these  gives me good vibes and motivates me to carry on.
Q: People have given you the title of ‘hijabi biker’. So what is your take on it?
A: Hijab is a very wide concept. To be recognized as a hijabi biker is very great. But I don’t say that I am a hijabi biker.
Q: What profession line would you like to carry on in future?
A: I will like to carry on my passion further,  that is motorcycling. Whatever studies I am currently pursuing, are  for  my own  interest. I would like to become  alma, that is a Islamic scholar who preaches.
Q: It is very difficult to pursue both your passion and studies. So how do you maintain balance between the two?
A: I try juggling my passion and studies together, by riding to my college on my bike , as my college is 20 km away from my home. So that becomes quite a good ride for me, riding 40 kms a day.
Q: What are some of the changes that you like to see in mentality of a common people.  What is your message to the community?

A: Society has always been stereotype, mean , conservative and  oppressed . Changes that I would like to see  in them is that not judge a  book by its cover and  as I said in ted talk Don’t judge me by what I am wearing,  my external attire and all . My motorcycle    don’t discriminate. So why are we discriminating. My bike just knows my skills and it does not know  who is under the helmet.  My message is for the family and their parents just keep supporting your child and   they will  surely succeed one day.


Reporters: Vishakha Gupta and Ritika Agarwal
Photographer: Mahima Gupta

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