For 23-year-old Singajogi Satyaveni, life took unexpected turns after she met with a bike accident in 2008. An aspiring tennis player in Hyderabad, Satyaveni was a champion in the game at her school and in the state as well.
After a bone transplant surgery, she continued nurturing her passion, despite the pain. Before long, she realised that the surgery had gone horribly wrong and had to undergo multiple surgeries in 2012 and 2013.
For a player who had just been qualified for the nationals, her doctor’s strict advice to never again be on the tennis court came as quite a shock. After a series of surgeries and being bedridden for the next couple of months, the teenager slipped into depression. The then 17-year-old player vowed never again to be on the road, not even as a pillion rider.
Fast forward six years, today, Satyaveni is not only a solo bike rider and a proud owner of a Royal Enfield classic 350, which she calls ‘Moonbow’, but she has also started Womeneoteric, a workspace where she re-models bike engines and does paint jobs on fuel tanks.
Incidentally, these paint jobs are not just splashes of colours but are stories customised to client requirements.
Adding another feather in her cap, Satyaveni has also designed 3D models for fuel tanks. Apparently, the first person across the country to do so, she is contemplating getting a patent on this process to her name.
Being part of a city-based women’s bikers club called Bikernis, Satyaveni, along with her 20 fellow riders, has been teaching women in the city how to ride.
Satyaveni with her Moonbow
Recalling her days after the accident almost 10 years ago, when she was clueless about bikes, Satyaveni says, “The months following the accident were depressing. It was a phase when I learned and unlearned quite a few things about life. I didn’t step out of my house because I couldn’t think of anything apart from playing tennis.”
Two years later, on July 2, Satyaveni was surprised when she saw a Royal Enfield standing at the gate of her house one morning. “My mom handed over the keys and asked me to learn to ride. She didn’t care if I fell or broke my legs again; she wanted me to overcome my fear of roads and of riding a two-wheeler, on my own,” Satyaveni recalls.
Satyaveni took up the challenge and took help from her cousin to learn to ride. In a couple of months, she became the talk-of-the-town as there were almost no women at the time who rode Royal Enfields.
“It was difficult,” she reveals, adding, “Men used to jeer at me. Many a time, I used to return home halfway, fearing men who ogled at me. At times, some even tried to catch up behind me in their bikes. But eventually, I developed a tough skin and let go with harsh words and cold stares.”
Interestingly, one of the 3D tanks she has designed is being featured in the upcoming Telugu flick Lover, where Raj Tarun will play the role of a bike-modifier.
Inking the journey
As Satyaveni began her solo trips across the country, she eventually decided to give colours to her journeys.
“I was passionate about painting since my childhood. And I wanted to let the world know my journey from being a tennis player to a solo Enfield rider. So, I decided to combine both to create something unique."
Satyaveni spent almost two months researching about paints and colours. In 2016, Satyaveni painted the story of her life on Moonbow’s fuel tank and posted in on her Instagram page titled ‘Womeneoteric’.
Her inbox was soon flooded with messages from followers who wanted to customise and paint the fuel tanks of their two-wheelers. Satyaveni, after much coercion, started taking up orders and set up her own workplace called Womeneoteric, along with her sister, Sangeetha.
While Sangeetha outlines people’s stories, Satyaveni paints and stylises them on the fuel tanks.
“I began with 2D designs that take around seven to 10 days. Most of them wanted beard designs on their bikes, which was a fad at the time. I also get orders where people wanted me to paint the story of their solo trips,” says Satyaveni, who is working on a ‘Delhi to Ladakh solo trip’ project.
Briefing the project, she says, “On one side of the tank, I am painting miniatures of popular places in Delhi. In addition to flags and the snow-capped mountains of Ladakh, there will also be signages that characterise the journey,” she adds.
In 2017, Satyaveni took up her first 3D paint job on her cousin’s bike, which took more than a month. “After a lot of research, I used homemade clay models that stuck on to the metallic fuel tanks,” Satyaveni says.
Not just Hyderabad, Satyaveni takes to orders from across the country. The customers courier their fuel tanks to Hyderabad. She also customises helmets and does hand-paintings on T-shirts as well.