Indian stunt cyclist Faraz Quraishi opens up about his stunt journey in real life and on the digital space.
How cool is it to watch someone roll over and fly in the air with their bikes? It’s cool enough for us to want to try it. Although the thought keeps playing on our minds, we don’t actually do it. But some just can’t keep it in and go on to try their luck. Faraz Quraishi, a professional stunt cyclist from Lucknow happens to be one of them. When he asked his parents for their consent to learn the art of cycle stunts, not only he was yelled at but also told to keep away from such stunts. After a refusal from his parents, Faraz decided to pursue his obsession clandestinely. He started doing stunts in 2012 by borrowing his friends’ bicycles.
After mastering cycle stunts, he showed his skill in a show where UP Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav was also present. The CM was so impressed to see his skills that he announced to reward him with Rs. 1 lakh and a shield. He did many shows in 2017 and was able to buy his own bicycle for Rs. 26000 in 2018. His performance in the first show of Ganjing Carnival was covered in several prominent newspapers on its first page.
After performing at many events and showcasing his art on social media, today Faraz owns five bicycles which cost around 3 lakh rupees. He’s also running an academy where he trains children on how to perform cycle stunts. With around 169.2k followers on Moj, he has become one of the popular content creators on Moj. We had the chance to have a chat with Faraz and talk about his journey on the wheel so far.
Here’s what he had to say:
When did your love for ‘stunts on cycle’ begin?
My journey started in 2012 when I was in 8th or 9th. When I was a kid, I always wanted to do something different and try something new. My friends used to do stunts on their bicycles. When I grew up and had my own bicycle, I thought that I should try that but do something different than what they’re doing. So I did my own research, looked at videos, and tried my hand at small stunts whenever I could. The bicycle that I had at the time was not that great, so my cousin gifted me his bicycle. Then I tried my stunts on them, had my falls, hurt a lot, and got yelled at home. Gradually, I became better at it and started sharing those videos on ShareChat. Once I became active online, I studied how to better these stunts online and tried to work on myself.
Now that you have grown and taken it up as your career, are your parents still not convinced? How do they react?
My parents are very supportive now, they’re proud of me considering all the followers and views that I have online. Although they didn’t want to support me in the beginning, now they’re quite supportive of what I do.
Do you remember the first video that became a hit online? How was the whole experience?
So my first video that went viral gained around 1.2 million views. It was an amazing experience because I have been struggling for so long and I felt like I’m finally getting recognition for all my efforts. It encouraged me to be better at my videos and the views on my videos have improved since. It has been an amazing experience since I have been sharing my videos on Moj.
How has Moj, as a platform helped you grow in your content creation journey?
There are a lot of short video format platforms and I haven’t tried a lot of them although I used to share my videos on ShareChat before. I receive a good amount of likes on the platform. And since I’ve joined Moj the views and likes have only improved, I’m also trying my best to put out good content on the platform. These likes have only encouraged me to do my best. I think people also started noticing me since I have been on this platform.
What are the most basic things that you take care of and suggest people do if they want to professionally take up cycle stunts?
No matter what sport you are in, the most important part is safety. I always recommend people to keep safety as a priority if they’re taking up any sport or stand on bicycle stand in specific. Always make sure to be safe. I myself make sure that I don’t leave my house without a helmet.
How did the idea of having your own academy come up? Was it always your plan or did it just happen?
So when I started doing this professionally, I started receiving a lot of opportunities to perform in shows. After finishing the show, I always had kids coming up to me and telling me that even they want to be doing this professionally. And I’d end up inviting them to watch how I train. And when I saw more people coming up to me, I decided that maybe I can do it professionally, start my own academy and teach them how it’s done with proper safety. Now my academy has around 8-9 members who learn and teach others.
Do you do your stunts on any other vehicles apart from a bicycle?
I’m already doing my bicycle stands but I would definitely like to try doing them on bikes but definitely with proper safety and precautions.
Do you follow any professional cyclist who performs stunts to find inspiration?
I don’t actually follow creators and I tend to find inspiration from my life itself. When I go outside, I watch people, I see them and try to learn from them. But if I’m on Moj, I’m scrolling through the app and if I find any kind of content that resonates with what I do then I try to incorporate them with my bike stunts. So I don’t follow any creators as such but I try to incorporate or modify the trend that is happening into my content. My mind constantly revolves around what I can do better with my stance. If I see a simple track, my first thought is what can I do on the track and what kind of stance I can do on them. I keep working on myself!
Finally, what message would you like to give people who want to follow their passion?
I only have one message to people, if you want to be a creator or an artist, please be active on social media because this is the time of the digital space and it’s always better to have an online presence. If you want to learn how to do these stunts I try and share tutorials on this platform. You can spare some time to watch and learn from them.
Are you a fan of stunts too? Then do follow Faraz Quraishi on Moj.
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