HOW ADVENTURE BECAME MY LIFE
I was your average girl, living a peaceful, mundane life in Tamia. I had a life at school, a life at home with family…and I had a life in my mind.
I remember being in the 7th grade at school when our teacher made us turn pages of our book to mountains and mountaineering; that’s when this crazy thought struck me, what if I became a mountaineer?
Having read about Mt. Everest through the course of life anchored my thought of pursuing mountaineering as a career – but one fact remained: this was Tamia…a small, unassuming town situated somewhere in the Satpura Mountain Range. The simple irony of my reality struck me then; would anyone here know anything about mountaineering at all? In this town, where we didn’t even have good schools, to speak of a life in mountaineering was like chasing rainbows.
Years passed. Life in Tamia continued. Every year tourists came, revelled in the beauty of the hills and went back. My life continued as well. I developed into quite the sportsperson and participated in basketball, cycling, softball and other sports. The thought of mountains remained somewhere in the back of my mind, though dormant, simmering, waiting for some sort of a spark.
It was in the 10th grade, as I recall, that there was an adventure camp of 7 days organized by the government in Patalkot. I enlisted for it and got selected, given my background in sports. All sorts of adventure activities were to be done during this camp – hot air balloon, water sports, paragliding, parasailing, you name it. I went to camp and participated wholeheartedly in everything; but ONE activity in particular enraptured me. During rock-climbing sessions, I was enthralled by our instructor – a mountaineer; a woman. Watching her made my grand dreams of becoming a mountaineer break their latency and resurface in full vigour. I kept venturing questions at her, I remember, about how to become a mountaineer, how to go about it, things to do. She kept answering my questions, but somewhere I felt like, to her, my intrigue sounded like a pie in the sky. In my talks with her I realized that my hometown, though surrounded by hills, could not put me atop Everest. Thus ended my adventure camp in Patalkot; but my dream to become a mountaineer was just beginning. Through my rock-climbing instructor, I had come to know that there were institutes and training centres in India where I could pursue my chosen path.
So I had to move away, find a new place that had the resources to aid my quest for altitude. I was ready to leave Tamia.