A Woman On Wheels: My IIM Kashipur Biker’s Club Story
I would describe myself as someone who is always thirsty for something new. Unexplored places, unacquainted cultures, un-attempted adventures never fail to exhilarate me. Needless to say, one true love of my life is my BIKE (Royal Enfield Classic 350).
When I joined IIM Kashipur, it was a whole new experience for me. After having lived in the Southern part of India for most of my life and having worked in a totally different field, aviation, my IIM Kashipur experience is filled with different cultures, languages, food habits and many more. However, it did not take me long to feel at home here. Thanks to the ‘Bikers Club’ of IIM Kashipur. It came as a pleasant surprise to me, having come from an engineering college where vehicles were strictly banned. Here, the Director often joins the students for various bike trips. There is a different aura here, a very welcoming and accepting environment which gives you a sense of belonging.
Uttarakhand is a state blessed with an abundance of breath-taking natural beauty. The moment we step out of our campus, we can experience the beauty of rustic Indian villages. A little further are places that people visit from all over the world. There wouldn’t be an adventure enthusiast who has not bucket listed places such as Auli, Chopta, Mukteshwar, Pindari, Almora among others for adventure trips. Blessed that IIM Kashipur students are, those places are just a bike trip away from campus. Jim Corbett and Nainital are weekly weekend destinations for students to beat the stress. For me, these bike trips have always helped regain the motivation to fight that MBA’s so-called rigour.
Being a female student, it was all the more exciting for me. No matter how hard we may deny, we still live in a world where patriarchal superiority has not fully given way to gender equality. But here, I felt equal. Here I get the courtesy and respect which every female deserves, but not the ‘special benefits’ (wink wink) which are still part of our society that comes with a pre-assumption that women might need a head start to be at the same level with their fellow male counterparts. The culture that has been taking shape here is what we need to adopt more. In IIM Kashipur, we have leaders in making who would be managing various organisations in future. The way we behave is a reflection of what we have been learning. It is important that this culture gets ingrained in men that women are equal and should be judged on the basis of their work. Also, female students need to understand that just because they are fairer sex does not mean they deserve any less than their male counterparts.
Bikers Club has a contribution towards providing me with this confidence. Bike, which is seen as something which is masculine and meant for a man, the ‘stronger sex’, is something that belongs equally to me as well, a woman, thus blurring the lines that are drawn between genders; and somewhere polishing the confidence that every woman possesses and igniting the dreams that burn within.