When Krushnaa Patil (20) says, “Climb your own Everest”; it’s not just a metaphor.
Addressing school students at the Nehru Science Centre in Worli on Monday, the youngest Indian to scale Mount Everest, said she was “hurt” to know about the recent spate of student suicides in the city.
“Grades and studies is only a tiny part of life,” said Patil, who climbed Mount Everest on May 21, 2009.
“Even though I hate math, I still have to calculate wind chill speed. But standing on the summit, nothing of the math, geography or even the 64 per cent I scored in Class 10 matters.”
Patil was at the Centre to inaugurate Everest, a documentary film on the expedition to Mount Everest at the Science Odyssey.
“Everest has been and continues to be an important part of my life. Once you go there, you don’t want to come back,” said Patil. “Hope the film encourages you to go to the mountains.”
A second year correspondence political science student, Patil recounted her experience with Everest.
“Mount Everest has a mind of its own. Though scientifically it’s made of rock and stone, it helps you to play with it and teaches you how to think.”
Even though Mount Everest is 8, 848 metres, Patil said that her climb on Mount Vinson Massif, the highest peak of Antarctica at 4892 metres was physically more difficult.
“That’s how life is. You think that SSC/HSC exams are the biggest test. But a small exam or an interview might be the most important in life,” said Patil, a Pune resident who has now relocated to Mumbai and lives with her aunt and grandmother in Dadar.
Patil has finished climbing four summits since May last year.
At the month end, she will be leaving for her fifth expedition either to Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko standing at 2228 metres or Indonesia’s Carstensz Pyramid at 4886 metres.
Currently looking for funding for the next Summit, Patil said it’s very difficult to get sponsors in a country that is interested in only one sport – cricket.
“But I am not complaining. They have earned it over the years.”
From wanting to write a book on the Everest and making an adventurous film on mountaineering, Patil told students to “go out and experience things. The world is made up of rules but you can follow different professions. Go and climb your Everest.”