With her black leather jacket, high heeled boots and head covered in Hijab, 22 year old Roshni Misbah rolls into Jamia Millia Islamia on a 250-cc Honda CBR Repsol. Needless to say, all eyes are on her as she vrooms her way through the orthodox traditions and smashes patriarchy in the face!
Her journey of becoming a badass bike rider who breaks stereotypes began when she was a girl and saw her father, who happened to be a bike enthusiast ride Suzuki Intruder 1800. When she was in Class IX, she managed to learn riding a bike all by herself and bought an Avenger to perfect her skills.
Roshni came from a conservative family and she knew she wasn’t following the conventional path ever since she was a young girl. She knew she was going against the norm but that didn’t stop her from following her passion.
Roshni is pursuing an MA degree in Arabic and Culture Studies in the university. “My teachers even gave me a special parking slot near the Indo-Arab Centre on the campus” said Roshni.
Her teacher Jawed Khan described her a girl who is in touch with her culture in addition to being passionate about bikes. Roshni has not only broken the stereotypes and smashed orthodoxy in it’s face, but has also proved that a young woman can choose to be modern (that is, follow her passions and even deviate from the norm if the need be) and at the same time, stay true to her roots and culture.
Her physical attire, an uber cool urban jacket with a pair of Tomb Raider esque-leather boots coupled with a hijab represent the modern Indian women- fearless, independent and modern, yet conscious and aware of her cultural identity.
Roshni is the perfect example of how feminism isn’t about destroying the culture and traditions, contrary to how it’s portrayed by the mass media. It’s about challenging the orthodox beliefs and age old customs. Most of all, it’s about giving women the freedom to pursue their passions that do not resonate with the orthodox beliefs. It’s about having the freedom to ride bikes and race on the streets and at the same time stay true to one’s roots.