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Pragya Gupta

IWB Intern

Biker Moksha Jetley Speeds Over Stereotypes That Ride On Single Mothers

  • IWB Post
  •  August 10, 2017

There she goes, racing on her bike fearlessly as if the twists and turns weren’t scary enough. Her ideologies and principles might be unique to the world, but they force us to reflect on our stereotypical mindset. Mrs. Moksha Jetley is one of the kinds who exactly knows how a bold woman should be brought up.

Crossing all the limits, she earned a name in Limca Book of Records when she covered the distance from Manali to Leh in mere twenty hours twenty minutes. She left her house when her mother-in-law physically attacked her baby daughter and since then she has been trying to make people realize that girls are important.

Mrs. Moksha Jetley

For her, biking might be a hobby but by actively pursuing it she has proved to the world that single mothers are a catalyst in our revolutionary society.

Pragya: Do you have conversations with your bike? Does she have a name?

Mrs. Moksha: No, I don’t have a name for my bike. People think it is a big deal for a woman to ride a bike and it might be given my age and mode of travel. For me, it is just a regular activity or hobby through which I influence other people socially.

The message that I spread is that a single woman can live by herself and age doesn’t matter. You are never too late to pursue your passion. People have psychologically created this opinion that it is a necessity for a woman to marry or have a manly figure to support her, but can they prove it as a fact? Obviously not. I am the living proof that disregards their opinions and theories.

Mrs. Moksha Jetley

When I travel around, I notice how strong women are physically as well as mentally and that further persuades me to propagate this motive of mine.

Pragya: Did you ever have to explain your choices?

Mrs. Moksha: Every single time I have to explain my choices to the society. They have innumerable questions like: is it safe or secure? People have set notions of how things work here and honestly those are the people who are stuck in this vicious circle of life.

It is hard for them to accept that there will always be those who want to think out of the box, take challenges, and bear risk in life. What is even more entertaining is that majority will try to bring you down because maybe they don’t have the guts to construct their own path and secretly want your life.

Mrs. Moksha Jetley

Sometimes even your well-wishers interrogate you so much out of care and affection that you question yourself. In my opinion, it is all about what you want and how bad you want it.

Pragya: What gave you the motivation to join a mountaineering course?

Mrs. Moksha: I wanted to try something adventurous so I joined this company in Kat Mandu that carried various expeditions at high altitudes. I was the only woman in the group along boys of age 16-30 yet I never felt ‘different.’

Such activities have the power to change your personality as well as make you mentally and physically tough. In this world of materialism, I needed to be close to nature. Those who lead a materialistic, shallow life are unhappy at the end of a day whereas I feel delighted by even witnessing a sunrise or a blooming flower.

Mrs. Moksha Jetley

Pragya: Tell us stories from childhood when you and your sisters were riding a bike together?

Mrs. Moksha: My first time was when I was barely sixteen. It is an interesting story: my parents weren’t home and my friend’s father’s son had a Java bike. I demanded to ride it and he thought I was joking but soon he realized that I was dead serious. I asked him to kick start it because I didn’t know how to and then my sisters sat behind me; their confidence in me was unshakable which further granted me the courage to ride it. When my mother returned, she questioned everyone about my whereabouts and someone spilled that I was riding a bike. She was surprised because I had never been taught to ride one but it probably came naturally to me.

Pragya: What did you rediscover about self through bike trips?

Mrs. Moksha: Travelling alone gives you an opportunity to meet wonderful, unique people. I got to learn so much about myself and the untapped potential that reside within me. For instance, before my Leh to Manali expedition, I wasn’t exactly emotionally strong but something during that trip changed for me.

I can easily say that these bike trips make me more balanced because I understand the importance of spending time with myself. My mind shuns all those stereotypical questions that people have for me during my ride and just concentrate on the present.

Pragya: What were the physical obstructions that you faced during a ride between Manali to Leh?

Mrs. Moksha: The previous night I couldn’t sleep. You know when you have pressure your mind cannot simply rest. I knew physically I would face no obstruction but I might feel sleepy.

When we were just eighty kilometers away from our final destination, I told my friend, who was filming me in a car, that I am not at all tired. As I raced towards Manali, my spirits were a little down and just thirty-five kilometers before Manali, I lost all my energy.

Suddenly a thought crossed my mind –  am I doing this for myself? No; I was doing it for a cause, for people. My prime purpose was to demonstrate to our society that everything is in our mind and if we can train our mind, then age is just a number.

Mrs. Moksha Jetley

Pragya: What is your fitness routine like?

Mrs. Moksha: There is no exact fitness routine. I eat healthy vegetarian food. My diet includes a variety of salads and fruits. I avoid street food. I believe in the concept of energy because it makes or breaks a person. Positive energy attracts the similar and I have been religiously working on diverting my negative energy.

If the mind is not healthy or the surrounding vibration isn’t positive then any fitness routine cannot help you. Additionally, I read a lot, dance, and sing to lift my mood up.

Pragya: Why do you think it is easier to drive on mountains than roads?

Mrs. Moksha: On mountains, people are extra cautious and self-aware. Whereas on highways, everyone carries this casual attitude which results in traffic jams. I personally love mountain areas as I am closer to nature and with less traffic I can connect to my surroundings.

Pragya: You are now planning a solo trip, so what all precautions are you taking?

Mrs. Moksha: Right now I am looking at fundraisers and sponsors. I am not taking any extreme measures as it isn’t a dangerous activity. I will simply be riding through Leh, Chandigarh, Rajasthan, and finally, will reach Kanyakumari. On the mountainside, I will have a mechanic riding along with me, just in case I need something.

Praya: How supportive has been your daughter through the years?

Mrs. Moksha: She is the only one in my family who has been with me through thick and thin. We share a beautiful relationship and she is like my best friend.

Pragya: Can you share conversations on womanhood you had with your daughter?

Mrs. Moksha: We share and talk about everything. Earlier we were discussing this marriage issue and I explained how her happiness was my utmost priority. A woman can live on her own if she has a purpose and meaning in life. Everyone is a product of their own perspective and so am I.

I don’t think that life ends when you don’t get a man to support you. I am proud to have made her a strong person who carries her values with pride. She is a good human being, and in a self-centred society, she has grown to be selfless.

Pragya: As a single mother, what parenting style did you hold to?

Mrs. Moksha: It was not just to be a mother but to be a friend. I left my house when she was just two and a half years old and she was lucky enough to get all the love from my family. My sisters, mother, and father loved her unconditionally. Papa was always concerned for her no matter what.

I don’t act like her mother and we don’t share an attachment but a mutual affection for each other. She is an independent woman and we both need our own space.

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