Stories

The Biker Cop

The Biker Cop
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/12/2018 5:16:29 AM IST

 For long, biking has been looked upon as a domain of the men folk. Very few have dared to break stereotypes but Bendangnaro aka Narolajati has done it with aplomb and in a resounding fashion. The sight of her riding her bike is enough to give some hardcore male bikers a complex. After all, they say, ‘Why should boys have all fun?’ Her affair with bikes started 10 years ago in 2008 and she wants to keep riding even when her hair turns grey. The first time she tried riding a bike was in 2006 and it was a Yamaha R15.

Bendangnaro was born to I Longerkaba Jamir and Imchapongla in Waromong village under Mokokchung district and currently resides at Chumukedima. And hey, if you thought riding a bike was impressive enough, we are just about getting started. When she is not donning the trademark biker’s leather jacket, she wears the khakhi with equal ease and confidence.  She is an ABSI (sub inspector) with Nagaland Armed Police and has also represented Nagaland as a shuttler in various tournaments. Her other passion is singing.  Needless to say, she wears many hats!!

‘I was born daring!!’

When you speak to Bendangnaro, what stands out is her attitude-positive attitude, confidence and passion for life. She says, “No inspiration from any particular individual. I was just born daring. I just love trying challenging things. I love to dare and so I accepted the gauntlet life threw at me.” 

‘No difference between a male rider and a female biker’

Bendangnaro did not take the help of anyone to learn riding a bike. For those already inspired, it all boils down to making an effort first. “There is no difference between a male rider and a female rider if it’s only about riding. But I tell you, it’s all about passion and when you are following your passion, you are equivalent. There can’t be a difference between a male and a female rider,” she says as she believes women can be equally good bikers as men, it not better. She then goes on to add that there is just one difference, and that is in the mindset of some people who cannot fully accept the fact that women can be bikers too!!

Feathers in her helmet

Bendangnaro is no stranger in the rider’s circuit.  Though she is a solo biker, she has been part of expeditions carried out by numerous biker clubs in the Northeast and has been part of many long rides, the longest one being a ride from Dimapur to Bhutan, Burma, Bangladesh and almost all northeast Seven Sisters. 

She has ridden with many clubs which includes the most renowned and esteemed club of Nagaland, the Nagaland Motorcycle Club. For the record, the Nagaland Motorcycle club undertook a monsoon expedition last year traversing 500 kilometres of the route;  

Kohima-Jharnapani-Jalukie-Peren Town-Tesen-Tening Town-Barak River-Tamei-Tamenglong-Senapati-Mao Gate-Kohima. 

The other prominent biker clubs she has ridden with are; The Wonderers India, The Black Drongos Karbi Anglong, Aizawl Thumpers, United Riders Dimapur, The Tribe Kohima, The Crew Wokha, and many more. 

 An unforgettable ride 

The most daring ride Bendangnaro undertook in her life was participating in the Motocross Challenge 2017 organised by the Nagaland Adventures Club. She said it was an experience she will never forget. 

Talking about the experience, she said she was also grateful to the late K K Paul Rutsa, the most regarded chief and founding member of the most popular clubs; The Nagaland Motorcycle Club and the Nagaland Adventures Club. “The personality which I will always cherish.  As the angels guide you there, do continue to guide me from up above there as you have always been to me. Miss you so dearly. God be with you my brother,” she added, as she fondly spoke of the  late K K Paul Rutsa . 

Her favourite bike 

Bendangnaro’s favourite bike is Royal Enfield. She says she gets that royal feeling riding an RE. She has two bikes currently; an RE and a Yamaha RX.

Her message for other women who want to take up biking 

When asked about her message for women in Nagaland, she said, “Well, I wish to encourage women to give a damn to what society thinks of you and chase your dream, live your passion and stay happy. Breakthrough from the bondage of fear of what people will think of you riding a bike being a woman. Look beyond the mindset of a misogynist and follow your heart. Do what you want but have self respect and you’ll find the real taste that lies beyond your fears.” 

She also advised women who seriously contemplate taking up biking to ride around with positivity, spread love, blend their passion with something positive that can help the society. 

“Take up challenges, don’t just ride for fun, there are lots to contribute towards our society as you ride around and let people see what following a passion can really do/can really help. And most of all, remember safety and traffic discipline first,” she advised. 

On male attention and attitude 

On the perception of males towards female bikers, she said that they mostly feel it is challenging but appreciate and adore female bikers as well.  Talking about naysayer, she said, “As we have different faces, likewise, all opposite genders have different opinions. I am very sure few sections of them dislike a woman riding a bike but that does not at all affect me. I don’t have an iota of concern for what they think. I am me and will always be me and I can proudly claim that there are a section of them who really likes and adores a woman riding a bike.”

The image of a female biker 

The image of a female biker can be a tricky one. On the outside, they might look rough but that does not make them any less feminine.  From her experience, she said, “I am also sure and in fact have come across few who took me to be a very rough and tough masculine nature just by judging me outwardly from pictures alone, specially on the pictures of me with biking attires and got astonished seeing the feminine nature of mine only after getting to know me personally.” 

Bendangnaro is however thankful to her rider friends, all of whom are very supportive, caring and concerned for her.  She said they are in awe of her bravery but even reprimand her when she gets too daring and speeds up. “I am so glad to be in a riding family where you get to learn the value of true friendship and real brotherhood. I am so proud to have them,” she added.

On her relationship with fellow bikers, she calls them the “purest soul”. “I wish to proudly convey that we riders have the purest soul and are always ready for one another. We might appear awkward in our attires but deep inside, with my experience, I can proudly claim that we have that true sense of humanity,” she says with immense gratitude. 

On Nagaland’s roads

On Nagaland’s road conditions, she said the roads in Nagaland are sad and in contrast with the roads of other states. Citing her experience in other states, she said, “Other state riders go out to a non-populated area, far from towns and cities for an off-road thrill, whereas in our state, the entire roads are off-road rides.” On a lighter note, she added, “Even our national highway is an off-road. I am an off-road ride lover but a lifetime of off-road rides even in highways is too tiresome and annoying.”

Bendangnaro also made a special mention of the potholes, “The titanic potholes in highways are quite dangerous and is life threatening especially for the two wheelers. I had a nightmare experience where a Creta (car) almost hit me to death while he (the driver) was manoeuvring a gigantic pot-hole there at 6th mile. It was a matter of survival with just less than an inch. I just wish that our government realises the threat we denizens face in our daily walk of life and at least maintain the national and state highways even if they can’t maintain all the connecting roads.”

Bendangnaro is without a doubt a proud daughter of Nagaland and an inspiration to girls in the state to follow their dreams passionately. She dared to enter a bastion considered mainly for the male.  The aim, according to her, is to blend your passion with something positive and contribute to the society. 

 

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