Ever since I’ve chosen motorcycling as a lifestyle, it has helped me meet people who have not only surprised me but also inspired me. Though, thanks to the advent of social media, one can always connect to each one of them in some way or the other, but then, once in a while, life throws at you an experience that is difficult to describe in words. For me, that experience is Rohan Singh, a humble biker-next-door who I met recently at the Riderz Planet Store and I was in for a treat to say the least.
What might come up to many as just another biker at first glance is actually a surprise package. Why? Because as Rohan puts it, he is a passionate biker and cyclist with “one and a half hand”. When I met him, Rohan was struggling to give his measurements for a custom made Race suit, which he plans to wear on the track soon enough. He continuously roamed around and being a bike enthusiast, checked out every possible thing that he could get his hands on.
As soon as you meet Rohan, You can feel a positive energy around him. Talking to him, I soon realised that not having a forearm is no barrier for him to achieve the superhuman tasks he has dreamt of in life.
This, my friends, is not an interview. This is the journey of our Indian Alan Kempster, Rohan Singh, who grew a love for biking at a very tender age, which will trigger an unmatched feeling of optimism and encouragement in you.
First things first, were you born like this or was this the result of some accident?
(What I didn’t know initially and was told by my mother, a doctor, the following night, is that one can judge the answer to my question by looking at the growth of a person’s hand and its girth)
I was born like this. Doctors call it Congenital Birth Defect. . . I was raised like a regular child and seldom heard stuff like “It’s all okay”, “You are normal”, “There’s nothing bad about it” etc. I used to play games like other kids do, did everything like other kids do. That’s pretty much how it all was in the beginning.
When you are a kid you don’t know what exactly this is… But when you grow up you realise, that for good or bad, you are different in a way. What would you want to say regarding this?
Rohan: I have a very peculiar journey regarding this. From the very beginning, kids used to get afraid of me and never wanted to play with me just for the sole reason that I was different. I didn’t have two hands, rather had one and a half. So from a very tender age I had the feeling of being rejected. But gradually I started developing a positive feeling, marketing myself and started showing that I was better than others, that I can play better, I can bat better. Then, slowly things worked out.
The “first real friend” I made was in 8th class who actually cared for me, who used to call and ask “Is Rohan home”? That’s how my journey was, bumpy but exciting as well and after that, there was no looking back.
The general perception is that people usually call you disabled or maybe specially-abled, but we call you a Superhuman. How’s the sound of it?
(An instant smile on his face)
Being from a legal background, even there the term differently abled is used. Using terms like “SUPERHUMAN”, it sounds very nice; rather cool and I’m really positive about it, it is basically doing things out of the regular way. Kudos to you guys!
How did you end up being a biker? You could have done stuff that was comparatively easier for you, like probably driving a car instead?
Rohan: Well, I would definitely thank my uncle for this. From the very beginning he used to make me sit on the tank and would ask me to rev the bike. So I got the hang of it and my passion for bikes was on cloud nine.
I guess it was class 5th or 6th when I switched the brake wire with the clutch wire on my dad’s RX100 so that I could use the clutch to change the gears. But very soon I realised that I could only ride “My bike”, not any bike from the market. Thus I started finding ways to ride a bike as stock as possible.
Initially I used ropes tied to my hand but it resulted in a badly bruised hand in no time. Then I tried my hands on a cooker rubber gasket, it was a great way but this method failed badly during the rains.
One day, while having dinner with my family, I had my ‘eureka moment’, when I used my small left elbow to move the dishes. I then realised that I could use my elbow to engage the clutch, I failed the first time and similarly I failed the next three times. But after that, there was no looking back.
What is the craziest thing that has happened, when someone saw you riding?
Rohan: There have been two very interesting events that have been engraved in my memory.
One was that another biker was riding next to me in traffic and as soon as he saw me he was like “Oh shit! What’s that? That guy doesn’t have a hand!” and he fell down from the bike and I had to go and help him get up and check if he’s fine.
Second is another interesting event about a lady, she was so impressed by my riding that she asked me to give her a ride, so I planned a ride for the forthcoming weekend and invited her on it.
That day, I made a true friend for life.
Riding on the track is one thing; riding on the road is completely different. One needs to deal with a lot of situations every day. How do you deal with that?
Rohan: For me, I’m just another person from the crowd, there’s no difference between me and any other rider. If I see someone fall I’ll go and help him out, I try to negotiate and be in front of the traffic everything what any other rider would do.
And as for me on track, well, you’ll be seeing that too pretty soon.
Not all people who are Superhumans are as motivated and positive about life like you are. What is it that you would want to say to them?
Rohan: I would just want to say to them that be positive and be confident about yourself, there’s a lot you can achieve in life if you have the right passion for it. Another thing I would like to add is for the people who are close to the specially-abled, you should always create a positive ambience around them. One should never stop the specially-abled from doing things they want to do. Rather, motivate them to go ahead for what they want in life make them feel special and they’ll definitely make you feel special.
If my mother wouldn’t have been there for me, asking me to do things that everyone does, I would never have been a rider or probably wouldn’t have been able to achieve much in life.
If there’s one message you would want to say to the people out there, what would it be?
Rohan: I’d just say to them, keep riding be positive, wear your protective gear and ALWAYS pass a smile to a fellow rider.
We wish Rohan many safe miles in his superhuman journey.
You can follow him here: