Hailing from Bangalore, Aishwarya was expected to follow the predictable path towards engineering or medicine. But, knowing she was different, she went ahead and chose her own journey. Here she is now, a world champion who has made her parents and her country proud.
What was your childhood like?
I come from a very conservative family where career goals did not expand beyond becoming a doctor or an engineer. Even so, I was always a very outspoken young lady and more of an outdoor-sy child. Eventually, my parents understood my passion for motorcycles and things took a turn for the better.
Tell us a little bit about your career graph.
I started riding motorcycles as a passion. Riding gave me a sense of freedom and I felt alive every time I was on a bike. Once I had a travelled on motorcycles over a period of time, I started training at Apex racing academy for circuit racing after which I started winning championships. Due to my performance in 2017, TVS Racing signed me on as a factory racer which helped me pursue racing professionally.
In 2018, it was reported that you had crashed on the final day of the Baja Aragon rally which changed a lot for you. Tell us about the scenario and what went through your mind then.
It was a life threatening accident and as the saying goes: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. It has not been easy mentally and physically to bounce back from this, but being an athlete has given me a way of life which helped me cope with this situation.
You are just 24 years old and you have won a world title already. Take us through that journey.
I received a proper form of training for my future championships. I was initially trained to understand what navigation was and the technicality behind it. After that, my training sessions would be four to five days a week. Then there was an endurance training to develop strength and conditioning. There are cognitive games and mental conditioning to develop stability. Eventually, after all this, there is a special training depending on the country that conducts the competition.
How did you feel when you grabbed the title of being the first ever Indian athlete to win a world title in motorsports?
I felt elated to bear the Indian flag on international platforms and be the first Indian athlete to win a world championship on motorcycles at the FIM Baja Rally Cup; 1st in the women’s division and 2nd among juniors. My parents teared up seeing me hold the flag, the pride of India. I think that is when I completely shattered the stereotypes even in their hearts.
What’s in store for you now?
I am currently training for the world championship in 2020.
Aishwarya, you have been a striking example for many women out there who have been aspiring to succeed in unique fields. What would you like to tell these women?
Firstly, enrol yourself in a training school to gain knowledge about racing. Secondly, along the way of following your dreams, do not let nay-sayers get you down. I did not listen to them and today, I am where I am because of my confidence. So do what your heart says and ignore everything negative that aims to deter you.