Colloquially, sports and sportsmanship in the Indian context, more often than not, extends to, and ends, with cricket. It is a rare find to witness athletes from other sports receiving as much adoration for their prowess as opposed to cricketers (imagine circuit racing). Much less so for female athletes who are rarely acknowledged at all. Well, you'd be surprised to know that Alisha Abdullah, a young lady from Chennai has been turning heads both on the racing circuit and off it. She's a rock star on wheels and a total badass beyond it.
Here's the story of Alisha Abdullah.
Alisha was already showing signs of a future racer when she was all of 13!
Alisha's introduction to the world of racing began when she was still experiencing her first decade on this planet, via go-karting and her legendary racer father Mr R A Abdullah. By the time the Chennai-based kid was 11-year-old, Alisha was winning all kinds of go-kart races. And, at 13, she won the MRF National Go-Karting Championship and the Best Novice Award in the National level Formula Car Racing in the open class.
By the time she was 15, Alisha had turned toward super bike racing.
In 2004, she had not only placed herself in the top five of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship, she had also paved herself a way into other racing avenues. From the four wheel frenzy, Alisha's father quickly piqued her interest in super bike racing, and as you probably guessed, she started ripping it apart.
After a fairly horrific accident with a two-wheeler in 2010, Alisha moved back to four-wheelers.
It was long speculated whether Alisha would return to two-wheeler racing after the crash. To which she was quoted by TOI saying:
"In a completely male-dominated sport, I think I bruised quite a few men’s egos. They couldn't stand a girl push past guys and many a time they deliberately hit my bike. Being a no-nonsense girl, I always fought back. But, the crash was the threshold. I didn't want to race bikes any more, though I loved it.”
In fact, Alisha has also made a film appearance.
Alisha guest appeared in the 2014 Tamil film Irumbu Kuthirai, and is working on another film set to release this year. It also, probably doesn't come as a surprise that she's commonly been mistaken for a beauty queen.