Thursday, September 29, 2016

Life Lessons learnt during my trek to Mount Kilimanjaro

Thanks to the recent office move, I managed to find the diary I wrote during my trek to Mount Kilimanjaro four years ago.

When I was asked about doing a trek to ‘Mt. Kilimanjaro’ from one of my dear friends, I was not sure as I have never attempted any trek and summiting the world’s tallest free standing mountain scared me. I am sharing some of my learning’s and how I have managed to  integrate the same at work.

Trust yourself - From the thought to the trek I had less than 60 days to prepare. Mapped out my fitness requirements and ensured to give adequate time at the gym to gain physical strength. I always imagined myself walking towards the summit and kept going.  Perseverance, belief in one self and supporting team members are the three pillars to success even at work.

Acclimatize your surrounds - as the altitude increases the quantum of oxygen drops down and respecting and complying to the guides advise is paramount. I still recall my struggle at ‘Lava Tower’. Learn to understand your surrounds at work. There can never be one strategy working for all. Each team is unique and each day poses a new opportunity. Enjoy the opportunities and keep walking.

Take baby steps – POLE POLE is the magic word used during the summit. Take one step at a time and never try to match any ones pace. Every step is different and ensure to take rest. The last leg of the journey often is the most difficult one.  We trekked the whole night on the summit day and when we reached Stella Point

Break the task – the summit took 6 days and our guide ‘Babloo’ met us during morning breakfast and explained the task for the day. Do not look at the final destination as it would look too much to accomplish.  

Celebrate Quick Wins-  Always enjoy the journey and how much you have achieved. Every two hours when looking back I cherished the distance I have covered. Each day posed a new challenge and I

Every pebble counts  - just like every member in your team counts each pebble you encounter makes or breaks your journey.

Day 1 and post summit day delivered the most exhilarating experience. I can still recall the walk through the thick African forest, admiring the green surround and filling my lungs with pure oxygen. Sleeping in a small tent and maneuvering in a sleeping bag and walking an average 8 hours each day and then stretching it with a 14 hour nonstop walk braving the minus degree cold on the summit night, I enjoyed every day and the adventure of it all.

Made friends for lifetime and also learnt to appreciate small things  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Four bankers and a mountain

Four UAE banking professionals will climb Africa's highest mountain — Mt Kilimanjaro — for a children's charity cause

through GULF NEWS
DUBAI: Four UAE banking professionals will climb Africa's highest mountain — Mt Kilimanjaro — for a children's charity cause.

They will be joined by four others from other Gulf countries and are expected to reach the summit on February 10.

Sundar Parthasarathy, 41, Dinesh Pai, 41, Gopal Iyer, 41, and Vemuri Srinivas, 38, hope to improve the lives of underprivileged children in India through the non-profit institution - CRY (Child Rights and You).

Speaking to XPRESS, Vemuri said: "We have asked CRY to create an online link on our climb so that people can directly donate their money to CRY. The payments will go through a secured payment mode.

Article continues below

"There are multiple causes that CRY supports; however, we wanted to focus on education. We will strive to empower needy children in India through CRY."

Sundar said the bankers have set a minimum target to collect around Dh36,000 (Rs500,000) which they feel will be easy to achieve. What will be tough, however, is the uphill challenge awaiting these men.
Except for Gopal who has trekked to the Everest Base Camp in May 2010 (among other mountain treks), his team-mates will be on a major mountain mission for the first time.

Gopal said: "I have done other climbs, including the Thorang La Pass in Nepal (5,416 metres) and the Gangotri-Gomukh-Tapovan (4,460 metres). For me the Kilimanjaro will be easier to trek."

To prepare for the task ahead, the bankers have been doing dry runs in the mountains of the UAE. "We climbed Jebel Hafeet with a 10kg backpack. It helped us gauge our physical and mental fitness," Sundar said.

The banking executives have pitched in Dh15,000 each to cover the cost of the expedition.

The team will fly to Nairobi from Dubai on February 2 and take a domestic flight to Arusha in Kilimanjaro, set at 1,400 metres.

Dinesh said: "Mt Kilimanjaro will be a challenge. Without prior mountaineering experience it probably will be stupid to climb, but it will be even more stupid not to attempt it."

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Make change that stays

'It's not the mountain we conquer-but ourselves.' Sir Edmund Hillary

Daily life makes us succumb to routine, rat race and personal goals. There is element of 'goodness' and 'generosity' embedded in every human being that needs to be rekindled.

At some crossroads of life, we receive these 'higher callings' which urge you to participate in the societal needs from which you have benefited.
A reawakened group of eight middle- aged Indian executives from UAE, Kuwait and Egypt congregated to touch the lives of underprivileged children in India through the institution CRY - Child Rights and You. The effort is being crystallized through a charity hike planned at summiting the highest mountain in Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro (5895 mtrs). And the challenge is that these are eight normal people pulled out of comfortable lives with no previous climbing experience. In their attempt, they will be battling-20 degrees of biting cold, altitude sickness and gasping for the rarefied air.

The team expects that the sunrise on the summit will comprehensively reinforce and revitalize their perspective towards life and society. The climb is scheduled from 4th February, 2012 to 10th February, 2012.

You as a person can make a difference and participate in this effort. This gesture can significantly change the life of an underprivileged forever.

All you need to do is fill up the below form to initiate the difference. The last date for accepting your generosity will be March 12, 2012. All the funds will be directly received by CRY.

Link enclosed

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Indian Driving Experience

During my last trip to India, managed to persuade my mother for dad's car keys. The stress behind the wheel made me admit to WHO facts on Indians topping in blood pressure and heart ailments. We have very few or NO rules! Two lanes become five lanes at any given point of time.

This blog is a compilation of various drivers / people I have managed to encounter. We can see an orderly chaos and beleive me its much safer than what we feel it would be

Two Wheelers
Often referred to as an all terrain bike - fit for enterpreneurs- they are also quick, show similar traits of adaptability, and take quick decisions in maneuvering across dividers, cars and people

Cars ( Four Wheelers)
Can be an eptiome of Indian hospitality - noticed a group of 6 in a small car

Can be compared to Indian Public Sector Units (PSU's) - they are a necessity evil. they have some amazing graffiti and funny lines like horn OK please etc., If you mistake it for an invitation for honking - be cautious - no matter how hard you press - they dont budge an inch

Tuk Tuk's ( Autos - Three Wheelers)
Often refered to as common mans car. It is worth mentioning that they form the life line for many stream transportation across India. Only the island of Mumbai managed to keep them away

We also need to share the same road with cows, bullock carts, pedestrians, school children et al.,

On a positive note, we tend to accommodate every moving element on the road and still reach our destination safely. I beleive the key trait of being accommodative evolved within us