Meet Ayesha Sharma
She is capable of riding a 35 year old Bullet and has undertaken a road trip to Devprayag, about 30 km from Rishikesh.
When considering bikes in India, its hard not to think of the Bullet. The bike has managed to become a cult brand of sorts, and in the Indian market context it shares the mind space as a decent tour bike. Nothing new there, but the bike is what we like to consider a ‘man’ bike. So when I was duly informed by a one Ms. Ayesha Sharma that she is capable of riding the bike, and has undertaken a road trip to Devprayag, about 30 km from Rishikesh, she had my immediate attention.
The bike that Ayesha came riding on happened to be a 35 year old Bullet that belongs to her friend. Except for a few modifications to the braking systems, the bike remains largely untouched. Unfortunately Ayesha lost her own ride a while ago, which she claims is a different story, and now makes do with her friend’s Bullet for those lazy Sunday morning rides. She is presently saving up to purchase her own bike sometime soon.
Easing through traffic we head out to an empty part of town in order to get the photography out of the way. Ayesha, I must say, was extremely at ease with this big bike. With her small frame perched on the Bullet, the bike actually looked larger than it is. The size and weight of the bike did not pose any threat and this fine lady was able to maneuver her way through city traffic and then cruise along some lonely stretches of road with utmost control. When we finally parked, she surprised me by being able to get the bike on its stand! I had to give her a rating of ‘two thumbs up’. This woman can actually ride a Bullet!
Ayesha, to describe her in one word would be rather difficult. She’s cute, intelligent, got a great sense of humor, dances really well, has a fantastic choice of music and movies, is game for adventure, is a self proclaimed shopaholic and has one of the best smiles in the business. In her ‘official avatar’ she anchors the late night news on NDTV Profit.
So how did this otherwise ‘chic’ woman stumble onto biking? Well, it was actually her sister who instilled this line of thought. Back in 2000, Ayesha used to ‘steal’ her sister’s Suzuki Samurai out for clandestine rides. The thought of being on two wheels and enjoying the freedom lead her to purchase an RD 350 a couple years later! She had that for all of nine days before her Dad asked her to get rid of the bike. But the story did not end there and she went on to learn how to ride a Bullet. She claims that this is the only thing out of the ordinary that she does and it sort of gels with her sense of adventure.
What appeals the most to her about bikes? The very fact that riding instills a sense of freedom is the most pleasing attribute, however the wind in the hair and the romanticized though of riding around on lonely roads in a direction only known to the rider would make it a close second.
Her dream is to do the much hyped, Delhi-Leh-Ladakh-Delhi trip astride a Bullet, and she wants to do it alone! Maybe, just maybe, an ipod churning out some of Jack Johnson’s best will accompany her as she makes her way.