Yesterday I saw a lot of stories and discussions about Aishwarya Pissay. It was all nice and positive to begin with, but then slowly some weirdness started creeping in.
What interested me the most about this story was the fact that it seemed to be written with some emotion behind it, which is rare for Overdrive. Apart from Vaishali now, and Shumi in the past, Overdrive excels in taking some of the most exciting adventures around, and turning them into the most boring hellholes you can imagine. It would be wrong to single them out for this though, automotive journalism in India is a dead horse, dead since years.
If you read that article, every line gives you the impression that the writer has a personal problem with Aishwarya, like she didn’t respond to his DM, or she flirted with her ex. The delivery attempts to be very cold, almost scientific, but the overall tone is extremely, for the lack of a better word, bitchy.
There doesn’t seem to be any factual inaccuracy with this piece, but the way it is presented is very strange. The intent seems to be minimization of what Aishwarya has done. This is weird, for a big name publisher like Overdrive to put in the effort to systematically piss on what, to a normal viewer, looks like a pretty awesome feat, there must be some very deep wounds somewhere.
The main argument against the validity of Pissay’s world title seems to be this line from the article:
Pissay is the only woman rider to have competed in every single event, allowing her to score more points than her rivals who skipped the first round of the championship.
What they are essentially saying is that she took part in 4 races, while the other girls did only 3. So for the first race, since she was the only woman finisher, she got the maximum points for that category. In the other 3 races, she always finished behind the other women, but since she had a lead in the points from the start, she took the title.
Unless the first round in Dubai was a secret that nobody else knew of apart from her, I’m not quite sure why this argument exists.
You win a championship by winning individual races in that championship. Every race gives you some points. When all the races are done, you add up the points, and the person with the maximum points wins. Where’s the confusion?
For me, her achievement is very impressive, but that’s mostly because I’m a lazy cunt who finds it hard to get out of bed before afternoon. For someone to be able to travel the world and take part in all these events is kick ass in itself. On top of that, to be able to finish 4 international level off-road events is amazing. And then to win the world championship, even if it’s a “mathematical technicality”, is fucking awesome.
Everything can be portrayed in a negative or positive way, all that matters is the perspective and the language. Playing with kittens can also be looked as molesting juvenile pussies. Rape can also be explained as an involuntary personal protein spill. Flowers are also weaponized asthma factories.
I don’t see a reason why Aishwarya should be treated like she didn’t deserve the title. Keep in mind that apart from the short-lived recognition, and a slight increase in Instagram followers, she won’t be getting much out of this. There’s little sponsorship money in what she’s doing, and TVS isn’t going to sign her a new multi-million dollar contract. After the lights go away, she’ll go back to being a little known athlete, struggling with injuries, and wondering what life would be like when she’ll have to get a “normal” job eventually.
Indian motorsports can use all the media attention it can get, what’s the point in trying to crash the party?