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Scaling new heights on a scooter

MP   | Photo Credit: GRJGM

2015 was a landmark year for young self-trained motor head and automobile enthusiast Anam Hashim. She embarked on a mission to scale the mighty Khardung La, considered among the highest motorable roads in the world, single-handedly.

She was 20 then. She was on a TVS Scooty Zest.

The 2,100-km journey, which she covered in over 18 days, was filled with adventure. “After riding the Scooty for a week, I had no doubts I would be able to make it,” says Anam, who was in the city recently. She took off to Jammu in September and started riding; the start was smooth, but Nature had other plans in store. “There was an 80 km off-road experience after Srinagar… that nearly killed me. I couldn’t stop anywhere because I had to let trucks and military vehicles pass. And there were stones — big ones — rolling down from the cliff at many places. I somehow mustered the courage to ride on.”

There were places like the More Plains, where there were only rocks and water streams and no roads. “I experienced a wind tornado there; I saw water bottles flying and rode right through. That was quite an experience.”

Anam will be going back for the experience — this time, along with 10 chosen winners from a contest conducted by TVS — later this year. This is the first time that the Pune-based student of fashion designing would be leading a team, and she’s looking forward to it.

Bikes and rides have always interested Anam, who hails from Lucknow. “I used to always run behind my dad, begging him to take me on the bike. When I was tall enough for my legs to reach the ground, he taught me to ride, and eventually I got a licence.”

That — and a keen interest in the serial, Stunt Mania — got Anam hooked to stunt biking. Her first stunt was on a scooter, and it was a ‘Christ’, one in which you stand with your hands outstretched on the seat of a moving scooter while it is moving. “I was in Class XI during that time,” she chuckles, but quickly adds that she did have a licence then.

Today, she tours the country and performs for many shows, showcasing her stunts. “Stunt biking is still not known as a sport in India. I want to promote it.”

With a growing interest in biking among girls, Anam hopes she can encourage them to take it up seriously. “It is a tough sport. You need good reflexes and must have a good workout daily. Fitness is the key, just like in any other sport.”

There’s one thing that Anam hopes to master, and that’s the circle wheelie. “I can do many ‘straight’ stunts; what I cannot, and what I wish to learn, is the 360-degree circle wheelie. I have crashed many times learning it, but I hope to learn it by next year.”


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 10:12:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Scaling-new-heights-on-a-scooter/article14474438.ece

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