We are all well aware of the varied upbringing of a boy & a girl in India. Right from their birth, a certain stigma is attached to almost everything that they do. From the kind of colors that they should wear to the kind of toys they should play with, everything is decided to have a stereotypical appropriation of their gender roles. This pattern of assigning gender roles is based on beliefs formed by our ancestors and passed on from generations to generations.
Earlier, females were completely restricted to household chores and were brought up that way. Whereas, the males had exposure to machinery and were responsible to earn for the house. Females were said to be bad with machines, equipment and anything that requires a lot of effort and strength. In contemporary times, females have been taking over a lot many tasks that involve strength and are termed as being “masculine.”
Audacious females, like Gurkirat Kaur, are epitome of leading such a life, breaking the stereotypes and doing what society might mock at, like owning a Bullet (motorcycle), which she carries as elegantly as any well-bred gentleman.
Gurkirat Kaur was born on October 8, 1997. She lives in Chandigarh and is pursuing – Public Administration Honours from MCM DAV College For Women. She is a photographer and an independent ambitious woman who dares to think out of the box and has set an example for everyone.
She says,“I’d like to make positive changes in myself before trying to make changes in the society”. She idolizes her father for everything.
We asked her a few questions about how she feels about being one of the few females’ who ride a Bullet. Here is how she responds:-
Q- Who taught you to ride a motorcycle?
A- No one taught me how to ride a bike. It was my urge to ride a bike that pushed me towards it. The day I first sat on a bullet was the day when I began riding it! It gives you such thrill and energy.
Q- How do you think riding a motorcycle is different for men and women?
A-There’s a massive difference between a man riding a bike and a woman doing the same. Girls, I don’t know why never imagine themselves on a bike. Yes, they do drive cars. But I believe that most of the people think that bikes are meant for men. So, every time I take my bike out I get ‘WOW’ kinda reactions from girls as well. Some of them even feel proud (men as well) one can easily judge that from their expressions.
Q- Although we see female motorcyclists in Chandigarh nowadays, it still has some kind of a hushed ‘pointing out’ attached to it. Have you ever gone through any such incident?
A- ALWAYS! Whenever I go out on a ride, there are always people who get amused.
Q- How would you response if someone asks you to ride a ‘more feminine’ vehicle?
A- A feminine vehicle? I don’t think that I’m ever gonna be able to classify vehicles as “more or less feminine”. It’s my choice. One day I might ride an activa, the other I might even take out a monster truck! Also, I don’t think that a guy riding a scooty ever gets to hear that he must try riding a more “manly” vehicle.
Q- Was owning a bullet your own choice or was it gifted?
A- Owning a bullet has always been my own choice. Although convincing my father to get one for me was not as easy as I expected it to be. (Laughs)
Q- Does possessing a motorcycle make people more judgmental about you?
A- Yes, I think that people do get a little more judgmental. But thankfully, positively judgmental.
Q- Does it affect your personality? If so, how?
A- Riding a bike gives a boost to my personality. Whenever I sit on a bike, there’s a breeze of confidence that blows through me. Certainly, it also affects my image. For some, it’s just me being a spoilt brat and for some, it’s me being a girl of my own choices.
Q- Who supports you in your decisions and encourages you to follow your interests and ambitions?
A- My family and a couple of my best of friends always support me in my decisions and also encourage me to follow my interests. For the kind of person that I am today, the credit goes out to these people!
Q- Apart from riding a motorcycle, are you passionate about anything else of this sort?
A- Apart from riding a motorcycle, I am passionate about every other thing that society pulls me away from. I am always keen to try new stuff.
Q- Further, how would you contribute to bringing change in societal perceptions, regarding women?
A- I’d like to contribute my bit by making my own choices and sticking by them. Girls, generally, do not get to make their own choices due to which, sometimes, their interest/passion dies. I would like to make my own choices and encourage others to do the same. And believe me when I say, people do get inspired when they look at you as a man/woman of your own choice.
Q- Something that you’d like to say to the women who stop to follow their passion for such things as it is unacceptable for the society?
A- Women should definitely follow their passion being absolutely regardless of whether it’s socially acceptable or not. Because there’s always going to be one thing or the other that’s gonna be socially unacceptable. People are always going to have different perceptions and are going to pass different judgments but that should not stop anyone from following their passion. That is not how we’re supposed to live. We were born as an individual and we need to live as an individual. One does not have to seek social acceptance for anything one desires to do. For society would never want you to be different.
She is inspiring a lot of young ladies out there, encouraging them to follow their passion, be it riding a motorcycle or doing something that’s different, but makes them happy. We feel proud to have a woman like her in our society, one of a kind, who lead us in a different direction by initiating something out of the box.
We are sure that there are more women like her, who do not bat an eye to think what society will say and just follow their heart. So this one is for them, to let them know that they’re doing a commendable job and they should be proud of themselves!
Satvikaa Singh (MCM DAV 36)
A great lover of art and poetry. Writing is what I consider a therapy. Colours and alphabets are what attract me the most, I travel too, to find them even at the coast. I see the world in a different way, for imagination sees no night and no day.