The sight of a mechanic may be commonplace but the person in the picture is unique. Meet 20-year-old Bhavani, perhaps the only woman mechanic in the city.

Clad in a grease-stained shirt and black trousers, a young mechanic repairs the engine of an Apache motorcycle outside a shop on Kamarajar Salai in Kodungaiyur on Friday afternoon. The sight may be commonplace but the person in the picture is unique. Meet 20-year-old Bhavani, perhaps the only woman mechanic in the city.

Having entered the profession at the age of eight, Bhavani's toys were spanners and pliers at her elder brother's two-wheeler workshop. Twelve years have passed in this profession and the young lady feels she has made the best career choice.

“I manage the work along with my little cousin Sathya who assists me during the holidays,” the Kodungaiyur residents says with a smile as she removes the engine head of a motorcycle at Thirumalai Two-wheelers, opposite Sri Pandian cinema on Kamarajar Salai. Her brother Kannan had gone to Pudupet to purchase motorcycle spare parts.

When asked why she chose to work in the workshop, Bhavani says she wasn't a good performer in school. “Studies weren't working out for me. So I started visiting my brother at his shop and helped him out. I never felt bored or burdened at any point. My brother has been my pillar of strength,” she says.

In 2008, Bhavani married Muthu, an autorickshaw driver, who insisted that she continue her work post marriage. The couple have a two-year-old daughter. “My relatives take care of the child till I return from work around 9 p.m. every day. Sunday evenings are leisure time and I often go to the Marina with my husband and daughter,” she says.

The young mechanic loves to work on mopeds and scooters and not surprisingly, her clientele mostly consists of women riders. She can fix any fault on a motorcycle, she says. “But, I need to learn more about the mechanics of motorcycle engines,” she says adding that she dreams of setting up her own garage some day.

Keywords: woman mechanic

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Petlee PeterJune 28, 2012