It is quite common to come across auto enthusiasts in India who will go to lengths narrating their love for cars and bikes and the desire to make it big in the world of motorsports. What, they will usually end up saying, is that various socio-economic pressures did not let them pursue their dreams. Well, we have an exception here for you. Meet Jeemon Antony, a cop and one of the many bike buffs from Kochi in Kerala. How his story is different from average enthusiasts is that even after all the hardships and struggles, he made it to the word of motorsports. Being a rally rider, he has participated in championships across the country and even secured victories in some of them.
We are pretty sure that Jeemon is the only cop in India who is also a professional rally rider. According to a leading English newspaper, he first got a bike at the age of 18. And it was nothing less than a dream come true for him. For it was none other than Yamaha RX135. He was suggested this bike by a friend and there began his passion for riding. At present, Jeemon is deployed as a senior civil police officer at the Kalammasery Police Station. Speaking about his passion for bikes, Jeemon said:
“I am probably the only racer from the police all over the country. I began racing in 2000 only to leave it in 2008 due to financial pressures. I decided to go back last year and it has been a successful comeback so far. I took part in over 10 Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India- approved events and came first in five events. I could get placed in almost all the events I participated in. It has been an exhilarating comeback.”
Last year, Jeemon won the Kakkoor Kalavayal Invitational Dirt Race 2018, which attracts participants from all over the country. However, success has not been easy. A lot of struggle and patience has gone in all this. Striking a balance between life as a cop and motorist has not been easy for Jeemon. He goes on to confirm what we all knew till now: The sport is too expensive for average people and needs a lot of investment. At present, he uses a Royal Enfield Himalayan that cost him around Rs. 2 lakh and he needed extra Rs. 1 lakh for certain key modifications. This aside, the riding gear and other essentials are also quite costly. He says that the prize money received from these events is not enough to make up for the expenses.
The problems do not end here. Jeemon faces trouble finding a space to practice and improve his riding skills. He says:
“Kerala roads aren’t suitable to practice. I carry the bike on a pickup truck to the ground at Kalamassery where I practice. I never ride on city roads. Bias against racers among people doesn’t help too,”
For now, Jeemon is preparing to participate in MRF MOGRIP FMSCI National Rally Championship. Its first leg is soon going to be held in Indore. We wish him luck for the tournament. The motorsports scene in India is not as big compared to some other sports but recent times have been somewhat encouraging for sports enthusiast in the country.