Express news service
KOCHI: During last year’s lockdown, Aluva native Fathima Neshwah was glued to motorcycle racing videos on YouTube. Ever since she discovered motocross, the six-year-old wanted to own a bike and run like a rider. Fast forward to now, the child is now riding a yellow motocross bike with number 369.
“It was difficult for me at the start. My dad helped me learn to ride around my house. Although the learning process was difficult, I realized that if you have a strong will, anything is possible, ”explains Fathima.
When the young girl said she wanted to ride a bike, her parents hardly thought that the interest would remain.
“We never took her seriously until she came to ask us if we wouldn’t give her a bike because she was a girl. The question struck a chord and prompted me to look for a bicycle that she could ride, ”said Abdul Kalam Azad, Fathima’s father.
The quest for a kid’s motocross bike was not as easy as it thought. “I bought a second-hand bike from a nearby store. Since it was not in good condition, she would sit on it and push him inside the house on her own. Sometimes she hugged him too, ”says Azad. After the bike was fixed, Fathima learned to ride in two or three days. From the premises of the house, Fathima quickly moved the bike to a nearby field to train better.
“She used to play runners in the videos she watched. When she started doing stunts, I called a JCB to do some bumps on the ground so that she would do the stunts properly. After watching a few videos on YouTube, I installed a track-like setup courtesy of the land owner. Meanwhile, people laughed at me because I took seriously the desire for a six-year-old, ”says Azad.
When Fathima started riding over bumps and skidding like a pro, Azad realized she was very serious about riding and had the potential to do more. When the used bike stopped working after fifteen days of continuous riding, Azad bought him a new one through his friend in Delhi. Fathima practices daily in the morning and evening. Azad and his family encourage all of Fathima’s driving skills. “In Kerala, nobody follows motocross. We want to provide him with more professional training, ”explains Azad.