“Today also in our society people might view us as irrational and irresponsible if we ride a bike. We’re haunted by old stereotypes that women who ride bikes are wild and irresponsible. Remember that everyone starts at the beginning- men and women alike.“ – Nirmali from Nirdhar.
Meet Nirdhar, a group of Bullet Lady Bikers from Guwahati. Nirdhar is enclasp with Dharitri Terangpi and Nirmali Nath. Dharitri is well known among the biking locale for travelling Guwahati – Delhi in a Royal Enfield covering more than 2000 Kilometres. Moving to Nirmali, she is promoting safe riding among all the bikers group of Northeast India since a long period of time.
These two girls are all set for their next trip and this time they have chosen to conquer Leh (11,500 ft. approx. Sea Level).They will flag off from Guwahati on June 27, 2016.
Here is Nirmali Nath from Nirdhar with TNT-The Northeast Today
1) What made the group take up such a daring adventure?
Nirmali: Well, our group consists of two solo female bullet riders, which are (NIR) Nirmali and (DHAR) Dharitri, therefore we name our group NIRDHAR. NIRDHAR means one who holds clouds of water. Also another meaning of NIRDHAR is Determination and we are definitely determined to achieve our goal that is the highest motor able road of India”KHARDUNG-LA”. We both are very passionate about riding and we both own RE Classic 350. Also, we both love travelling to different places to explore the beauties and wonders of nature. So, we decided to start our first solo ride from Guwahati to Leh via Delhi.
2) There are lots of obstacles a lady biker has to come across whether it’s off-road or on-road. How do you eventually tackle them?
Nirmali: Yes, it’s true that being a lady rider is a tough task, starting from the family, society, technical obstacles etc. because we’re women and we are expected to work on our family, babies, kitchen, make up etc.
Everything else like sports, riding goes to men. Maybe, your heart and soul are telling you to become a rider but your mind keeps interfering. Thousands of women dream about riding a motorcycle but many are held back by barriers from the fear of unknown to financial worries. Barriers like how to control a big machine, what if I cannot handle it on my own as we all consider riding as a male dominated activity.
Women are confused not knowing where to start; today also in our society people might view us as irrational and irresponsible if we ride a bike. We’re haunted by old stereotypes that women who ride bikes are wild and irresponsible. Remember that everyone starts at the beginning- men and women alike. I find myself very luck that I have full support from my family and friends. Yes, I had to do a lot of preparations but they’re worth doing all that stuff. I had faced some financial issues and it took a lot of time to find solutions, but at last I did it.
3) How long will the trip last?
Nirmali: It will take around 20 days. We will start out journey right from Guwahati to Leh Ladakh via Delhi that will be around 7000km approx. We will cross many passes on the way. From Delhi we will go to Leh via Manali which is approx. 1030km and will return to Delhi via Srinagar (around 1250km approx.) We will cross 7 states and also planning to visit Uttarakhand (Rishikesh).
4) Does the group have any specific ideologies?
Nirmali: Yes, we are highlighting women empowerment of north east through our ride. Till now, No bullet lady rider from Guwahati rode Guwahati–Leh- Guwahati via road and we want to prove that, if you’ve a lot of determination and self-confidence, nothing is impossible.
5) How do your family members support you?
Nirmali: I have always got support from my family whether it is emotionally or financially, they always stand by my side and never fail to encourage me.
6) How do you evenly distribute your passion with other obligations of your daily life?
Nirmali: Yes, I took one month leave from my office which is definitely going to affect my work and there might be some financial crisis after returning from my journey but the best thing is the support I got from my family, so it would be easy for me to overcome these obstacles.
7) What advice would you like to give to the upcoming lady bikers?
Nirmali: Girls please come out of your house, start doing what you want to do or else you’ll never be able to achieve your dreams. You don’t know what you’re missing until you do it. No matter, if you’re 20 or 60, now, now is the time to get started. Riding a motorcycle is a stuff of dreams, it boosts your confidence. Many women are living their dreams right now, isn’t it time that you do that too? Get over your fears, ride hard, ride safe, wear helmets and proper riding gears and enjoy your life to the fullest! Transform your dreams into reality.
Thank you for being with us. We wish you lots of luck
(By Ritu Raj Boruah)