Imagine being the lone woman in racing competitions against men! Racing initially in cars and subsequently in superbikes, acting in a couple of movies and helping stray animals seems quite a deadly cocktail that sums up the 24 year old Chennai girl Alisha’s present existence. The only car and bike racing champion India has produced truly deserves to feel on top of the world.
What was her inspiration, you might very well ask since motivation is a necessary building ground for careers. If the career zooms nationally and internationally, the media and the folks wake up to the sensational name. Suddenly you are out there in the spotlight for the entire world to admire and emulate, hopefully for Indian girls, as we dream of. And so it has been Alisha Abdullah’s success story spurred on by father R.A. Abdullah, seven-time bike racing national champion.
It has not been an easy war as some may think, carried away by the fire and the glamour. The infinite hours at the gym do really count. “I have been training really hard for it. I will compete against girls from South East Asian countries, who are far stronger, at least physically!” Do you really need strength rather than technique for elusive success in such a dangerous sport?
She claims to do 52 pushups in a minute. Training is about core strengthening, she believes, in view of the fact that fit muscles recover fast.
Bike racing being more filled with risks, her interest veers towards car racing. Racing is ensconced in her genes all right. “Speed is in my blood. I developed my passion for racing by seeing my dad in action. I have been go-karting since the age of eight and won my first championship at 11.” She won the Volkswagen Polo Cup at 22, becoming the first woman winner.
What has she been doing recently? She rode from Kanyakumari to Kashmir in six days. Her companion was another woman biker, Sukhmani Gill from Chandigarh. She finished fifth in the Toyota Vios Cup in Thailand, a street car racing event. The Toyota Yaris Cup in Pattaya, Thailand brought two podium finishes and the heady feel of going international.
Though a rarity in India, women racers are doing well in other Asian countries, perhaps driving as fast as men with all the endurance. Alisha’s fondest wish is to encourage racing enthusiasts among Indian girls.
During 2015, Alisha becomes the first Indian woman to participate in major car racing events across Asia on the spectacular islands. May we hope that her performance would be equally impressive!