The great bird that climbed

There are some people whose names remain etched in the minds of all mankind. Prominent among those are some great adventurer-explorers, who capture the imagination of all people, spread a wave of joy across the globe by their incredible feats. Who can forget Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin? And who can forget Tenzing Norkay and Edmund Hillary?

Today Sir Edmund Hillary is no more.

He, more than many others, was symbolic of the world-citizen – a man who belonged to the whole world, rather than any one country. The Tibetan and Sherpa name of Everest is Chomolungma, which means “Mother Goddess of the World”. Edmund was her child, and from whatever bits and pieces that one has read of him from time to time, one did get the feeling that here was one ‘humane’ person, a model man. Here was a person who not only scaled the Everest, but also set up schools, hospitals, bridges, water-supplies, airstrips and such for the people in Himalayas. Here was a person who enjoyed challenging life, with the tools of honest toil. Lamenting about the ‘Everest Changes’ (See here), Sir Edmund said mountaineering was a challenge between the mountain and the mountaineer and accused some people of paying their way to the summit. “Having people pay $65,000 and then be led up the mountain by a couple of experienced guides, I personally think, is far less attractive. It isn’t really mountaineering at all,” he said.

While he is best known for the ascent of Everest, his ‘ocean to sky’ expedition in India, captured my ‘heartshare’ even more. In this expedition, he went by speed boat from the mouth of river Ganga, in the bay of Bengal, back along the river, right through the heart of India, up the mountains, and onto Badrinath, near the source of the river…A breathtaking expedition. A Theerth-Yatra, a pilgrimage…

A Kiwi is a flightless bird. But it sure can climb. Keep climbing, Sir Edmund…The great Yatra has no stops…


2 Responses to “The great bird that climbed”

  1. ramey Says:

    Unfortunately Sir Edmund had a fall recently in Nepal… & was 88

    i believe Sir Edmund wud have hit a cetury but for this fall..


  2. j.krishnan Says:

    Inspired by the ‘Ocean to Sky’ expedition, I had trekked to the source of the Ganga and beyond upto Tapovan and thereafter paid homage to Kapil Muni at Gangasagar. Kamesh, I am open to repeat that trip this year if we are able to form a group…

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