Great Stunt-Women Are a Rarity in India. Really?
Women with great stunt techniques, aren’t they quite rare in our country? But, Akhitha M D is a league of her own & is breaking down stereotypes for Indian women by pushing bikes to their limits. A female Software Engineer is normally heard of. But, a female Software Engineer who is also a stunt-bike-rider is definitely a rarity. A native of Kerala’s Thrissur district, Akhitha is the sole woman rider with the Mysuru-based Legendary Stunts Inc, a stunt riding team performing across South India.
She is a member of a very small club— women stunt riders of India. That’s not a real club, I just made it up. It should be, though. There are, as you might imagine, very few women stunting in India. That didn’t stop Ahkitha from going out on the street and risking life and limb by putting her bikes into situations they weren’t necessarily designed for.
What brings up her passion?
Akhitha’s love for stunt riding began at a young age. “Back home my dad had a Bajaj CT 100 and he taught me to ride it when I was around eleven or twelve. I was in class VII at the time. When I was in class XI, I used to watch stunt riding videos on YouTube. I badly wanted to do stunt over my bike too. So I asked my dad if he could buy me a motorcycle,” she says. Devassykutty, her father did not oblige. But Akhitha remembers, with a fond smile, him telling her that she should buy one herself after starting work and earning her own money.
She asked her dad if he would buy her a motorcycle, he refused, but encouraged her to save money and buy own bike later. Through college and engineering school, Akhitha kept the motorcycle dream alive and always thought about stunting. After graduation, her fortunes improved with a full-time position at Infosys, a huge Indian computer engineering firm in Mysuru. Now gainfully employed, her father helped her obtain a Bajaj Pulsar 180.
Practice makes a woman perfect!
Once she was settled in, she learned and practiced in empty parking lots, behind the post office, anywhere she could. She earned the usual cuts, scrapes, and occasional broken bones, but that never deterred her. When Akhitha told her family she planned to go professional with stunt riding they were, well, they responded how you might imagine any parent responding to news that their daughter wanted to quit her job and take up moto-hooliganism full time.
Later through school and engineering in college, Akhitha kept dreaming about riding and performing stunts on her motorcycle. Her dream began transforming into reality when she secured placement with IT giant Infosys at its famous Mysuru campus in June 2014. Having saved her salary for few months, the young techie told her family about her passion. “When I mentioned that I want to be a professional stunt rider, my parents had the shock of their life. They had this misconception that stunt is for thugs and miscreants.
It doesn’t matter whether you are still learning, not good on it, or might be failing all the time. It is all worth when your heart belongs to what you are doing. You can achieve it & no one can beat you up on it.
Just another hopeless writer who whirl feelings into words!