It is not rare to spot a woman motorcyclist vrooming through the Capital’s roads and Roshni Misbah is not the only motorcyclist in the city. Yet, the 22-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia has been the talk of the town. Why? Well, because she rides her motorbike with much éclat wearing a hijab (headscarf).
Roshni, who bought her bike seven months ago, is kicked about having her own set of mean wheels. She says, “Riding bikes is my passion. Since my school days, I have been riding bikes — either my father’s, brother’s or friend’s. But now I have my own bike.”
However, for Roshni, who is from a conservative Muslim family, breaking the stereotype that bikes are for men was not an easy task. Not just Roshni but her parents, too, had to face resistance from her relatives. “My relatives advised my father against giving me a bike as they felt it is not meant for girls. But, my father didn’t listen to them and he allowed me to get the bike.”
She also has to deal with stares from onlookers when she rides to college. “I never cared about what others think. I wear a hijab and ride [a bike] because I like to follow my passion and religion as well,” says the student, who is studying in Arab-Islamic Culture.
There are many who applaud her for overcoming hurdles. “Initially, my college mates would be surprised to see a girl riding a bike, that too with a hijab on. But with time, they have had great things to say. I have even taught many of my female friends to ride and it’s fun,” she adds. And she also tries to spread awareness about traffic rules. “I don’t break any traffic rules and I don’t do any stunts,” she says.
So what’s next on her wish list? “I would like to claim the title of superbiker at the Superbike Racing that takes place at Buddh [International] Circuit,” she says.