India’s First Female Motovlogger Vishakha Fulsunge Is Taking Over Indian Roads
With a thicc pink braid attached to her helmet, no less
Motovlogger Vishakha Fulsunge’s first long ride was through the winding ghats of Lonavala – with borrowed gear, in torrential rains, with her mother as the pillion rider. A couple of years after, she rode a record-breaking 1,800 kms from Mumbai to Vishakhapatnam, in a single stretch. The India Book of Records also mentions her as the first woman to ride to Andaman and Nicobar islands, and the first and fastest woman rider to complete the Narmada parikrama.
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Vishakha is a resident of Mumbai and embodies the very essence of the enterprising city – it doesn’t matter who you are, but if you toil for your dreams, they will be achieved. And enterprising is the word to describe Vishakha. She worked a multitude of double shifts and anchoring gigs, and made it happen – at 23, she bought her own motorbike. The hunky KTM 390 Duke was nicknamed Kashish.
The neighbourhood boys’ affinity for speed enticed the teenaged Vishakha into the world of bikes. She used to sneak out with her father’s Lambretta to practice stunts on borrowed bikes. Wheelies, stoppies, and standing on the bike as a rider was all part of the practice. But her mother’s averseness to her frequently broken bones was the end of the stunt chapter. Drag and circuit racing drew her interest too, but lack of opportunities made her move on from the capital-intensive sport.
This led to a few long trips with biker groups. Soon though, she found it more rewarding to ride alone. The internet introduced her to foreign women riders who vlogged, and that prompted Vishakha to turn her amateur biking videos into proper vlogs. As India’s first female motovlogger, she has 789K Youtube subscribers hooked to her videos. She started out with the aim to popularise women riders and to offer an insight into how their world is different from men riders. The most basic example she states is how men treat all the world as a bathroom, and how this basic necessity is a monumental hurdle for women riders.
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Other battles Vishakha fights on all her trips as a solo rider are to ensure her safety, and often, to find hotels that accept a lone woman. The gutsy rider is also trained in basic bike repair and always carries a tool-kit on her rides. She can fix punctures, broken clutch cables and more, by herself. As a way to pass the knowledge forward, she now trains young girls to ride and motovlog.
The only complaint Vishakha has about vlogging is how it often throws her off the time schedule! She confidently veers off course, leaves the highways to follow arterial roads and soaks in smaller parts of the country. And thanks to her extensive vlogging equipment, she takes along her Youtube and social media followers on the journey. Vishakha and Kashish have been going strong since five years, and will be on their way to Hampi soon; if you spot them on the road, do wave and say hello.
PS: A note to potential sponsors – Vishakha’s your girl!