Thursday, February 9

World Women Bikers: Onenienla Imsong from Nagaland and her motorcycling stories

tnw: Tell us about yourself

Onenienla: Hello, I am Onenienla Imsong also known as Onen Nenty. I come from the small hilly state called Nagaland, which is in the extreme east of the Indian map. I am the Chairman and Managing Director of Kongro Naga on Wheels; I am also honoured and blessed to be the ambassador for Nagaland Tourism. Apart from my profession, I enjoy riding my bike and I am also fond of making and playing good music on my bass guitar.

tnw: Are you a Biker Girl or a Car Girl?

Onenienla: I am a biker girl. The joy that I get from bikes cannot be compared with any earthly pleasure in my life. I admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for cars as well but if I were to choose between a car and a bike, my heart would definitely let me choose the bike.

tnw: How long have you been riding motorcycle?

Onenienla: Well, I have been riding the bike for more than 5 years now and it has taught me a lot in life, which includes discipline and to be courageous in life.

tnw: Any specific reason you ride for?

Onenienla: The sole reason that I ride is because, it gives me pleasure in my life. For instances, when I am on a long ride, I am just lost in my own world of emotions, I can reflect on my life peacefully while enjoying the beauty of the nature, especially in the North-eastern part of India, where your ride  is accompanied by lush green hills and valleys. A small tip to all the riders is the joy that you get while riding in different parts of the northeast India is worth your time and the money that you spend.

tnw: Describe on how you got to where you are with motorcycling today

Onenienla: At the very outset, I would thank our almighty for always opening doors for me in life. I am blessed in life to turn a misfortune in life to a fortune. I met with an accident a few years ago and I was advised to walk only for short distances and with minimal effort for the time being. It was during that time that my family decided to buy a non-geared scooter for me to move around in the town, that is when I actually learnt to ride a two wheeler and from that moment there has been no looking back for me. Personally I feel that with a lot of hard work and a little slice of faith in what we do is the key to where I am today.

tnw: The first motorcycle you started riding/ learnt riding.

Onenienla: Well I learned to ride a two wheeler on a non-geared scooter but to be precise about the first bike that I tried my hands on would be a Bajaj Pulsar (I forgot the exact model.)

tnw: Your ride (motorcycle) now? Tell us about your motorcycle

Onenienla: You are basically asking me to talk about my sweetheart. I own a Royal Enfield Himalayan which I bought it with the savings of my small salary while I working at a bank in Kohima. I named it as Motek which in Hebrew can be translated as sweetheart. She is a beauty that’s all I can say and I treat my bike as a person. I talk with my bike when I am solo riding, I have had great memories with my Motek during the solo tour of all the districts in Nagaland and I believe that we have a strong bond.

tnw: Have you met with an accident or crash during rides?

Onenienla: By the grace of God, I have never met with any major accidents or fall. I have only dropped my bike once during the solo tour of Nagaland last year.

tnw: Do you maintain and repair motorcycles on your own?

Onenienla: Yes! Motek is my sweetheart and I ought to take care of her, don’t you think? I do small repairs and also do basic maintenance run when I am free. For major repairs and maintenance, I usually take my bike to a repair shop.

tnw: What are your interests apart for motorcycling?

Onenienla: I have a lot of interest but at the same time I also try to keep my interest as minimal as possible. I play bass for a band called Mengu Suokhrie and The Band and that is where I get to enjoy performing live on stage and also groove along with the music that we play. I also like to promote the beauty of my land which is Nagaland and I am also getting interested into creating new recipes for my tummy during this lockdown period which I am actually enjoying it a lot.

tnw: Joined any riding clubs/ motorcycle clubs? Any motorcycling event that you try and attend regularly?

Onenienla: I am not a member of any motorcycle group. I am always looking forward to help out all the groups that I come across with what I can but I have never paid any heed to join any motorcycle club. With regard to motorcycling event, I have not been that regular as I was juggling with work in the bank that I was working in and the daily hurdles in live has kept me busy but I am definitely looking forward for such kind of events in the days to come.

tnw: Do you have any achievements that you take pride in?

Onenienla: Well I have two particular achievements that I take pride in as a human being, not as a rider or not as a woman motorcycle rider. I take pride in the participation of the Himalayan Odyssey- Women’s edition in 2018 which was organised by Royal Enfield. I got a chance to meet a lot of mighty women during their ride and that ride from Delhi to Leh changed a lot of perspective about life that I had. I am forever thankful to the organisers of that event till today for giving me the opportunity.

Secondly I take pride in the solo tour of my state which I completed last year in 2019. It was an eye opener for me as I got to experience a lot of new culture in my own state, which I was not even aware of. I got to meet a lot of empowered women on my ride and it was an honour to listen to their stories and also share mine to them, I feel like it has been the best experience and achievement for me as a rider.

tnw: 3 things your learnt from motorcycling

Onenienla: The 3 most important things that I’ve learned while riding a motorcycle is, to be discipline, to be consistent in life and lastly not to fall from my bike (hehe). The last one sounds funny but it is true no rider wants to fall down from the bike that they ride, it also taught me a lesson in life about being consistent in whatever I do, no matter how rough the patches are in my life, I would have to cross the patch and reach my destination, That is one very important lesson that I’ve learnt while riding the bike.

tnw: Do you have any motorcycling heroes?

Onenienla: To be very honest, any rider with a positive vibe and an inspiring story to back up his/her motive to ride the motorcycle is a hero to me. I am my hero and that’s what keeps me going in life as a rider and as a human.

tnw: How are women motorcycle riders treated by most people and by male motorcyclists?

Onenienla: Most of the male riders these days are very kind and very humble to us, especially during long rides and events. Of course there are some rotten apples in all the society who loves to pass comments and also try to mock at the women riders but I try not to give them my attention. I have faced certain incidents in my hometown where some male riders in the town tried to pull off some cheeky stuns in front of me but to be fair to them I responded to their deeds in the same cheeky way and it worked all the time.

tnw: Parents/ Friends- How do they feel of you riding a motorcycle. Any special comments?

Onenienla: My mother is the inspiration and the reason for where I am today. I owe her big time and I would love to repay her back but I think it is not possible to repay her back in just one life span. My family has been super supportive since day one and they are always looking forward to all the crazy adventures that I want to do in life. My friends on the other hand are these awesome humans whom I look up to and also try to do all weird and crazy things in life, they would stand firm with me even during the darkest hour of my life and that I can proudly say it to you.

tnw: The motorcycles you wish / dream to see parked in your garage?

Onenienla: Yamaha R6 

tnw: Message to other female riders?

Onenienla: My message to all the women riders is to truthful to yourself and also to be authentic in life. When you portray yourself as the real you, the world will give you the love and support that you need. Be it any women from any walks of life, I believe that originality is sexy and it can do wonders in our life.

tnw: How to get connected?

Onenienla: You can connect to me from any social media handles. You can reach out to me in instagram @onen_nenty_official and also from facebook @Onen Nenty

Unedited interview as told to team technwheelz

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