Bengaluru-based Aishwarya Pissay never set out to be a racer but today this young lady is one among the most sought-after people in the field. She says that every race teaches her something new and leaves her with enough memories to last a lifetime.
Racing, she says, has made her a strong individual and has given her the courage to face any tough situation. As a professional rider, she advocates safe riding more than speed.
In an interview with Nina C George, Aishwarya talks about what got her hooked to riding and her journey so far.
How did you take to riding?
I began riding as soon as I got my licence at the age of 18. My first ride was to Nandi Hills and I haven’t looked back since then. I used to travel a lot and did some rides like ‘SaddleSore’ and the ‘Bun Burner’which were risky, so a friend suggested that I use my skills in racing. So, I joined Apex Racing Academy and began coaching under Jeeva B Reddy.
As a woman, do you find it challenging to prove your skills?
As a woman, I face a lot of criticism. I hear comments like ‘don’t fall down, you are a girl’, ‘you may regret going fast’ while some others say that I can’t do it. But the desire to carve an identity for myself overshadows all the criticism and this inspires me to get better and stronger.
Any challenges you face when racing?
Apart from the multiple falls, finding sponsors for the racing or rallying event is a challenge.
Tell us about your recently concluded races?
I just completed MRF Indian National Rally Championship in Hyderabad and secured the first place in the ladies class. I was the only girl to participate among 50 boys and finished in 22 position in MRF Indian National Motorcycle Road Racing Championship in Chennai.
What helps you stay positive?
The fact that I am doing what I love leaves me motivated and helps me stay positive.
Is there something that you do before you race?
I listen to music and visualise what I have to do, to stay focussed.
What is the one thing that you would like to change about yourself ?
Everyday is a new beginning. There is something new that I learn about myself everyday and I try to improve.
Who has been your inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is my mother because she never gives up no matter what. Both Kishore V S in the racing world and Vishwas S D in rallying inspire me to be a better racer or rallyist.
My next will be ‘Raid the Himalayas’ which is one among the world’s top 10 toughest races.