Young, ambitious, daring to dream big - Arjun Vajpai's much like the new India. Earlier this year in May he made news when he became the youngest Indian to successfully scale Mount Everest at the age of 16. And Arjun has no plans to rest on his laurels, now that he has his sights set on bigger, even more challenging, targets.
A student at the Ryan International School (Noida), Arjun now wants to be the first Indian to finish the 'Three Pole Challenge' that includes scaling Everest and making it across the North and South Poles. Having already achieved the first mission, he will start training for the other two after his Board examinations in March.
"I'll be undergoing intensive training in Greenland and Finland before I start for South Pole in December 2011," Arjun says. The teenager is planning to go through the expedition 'unsupported', which means he will have no help at all. He will carry and pull a load of 120 kg and ski 900 km, without any replenishment of food - a task that will require special planning and intense focus. The moot point is that Vajpai is not content with what he has already managed - he wants to go on to harder and bigger challenges.
Even though he is a real-life celebrity at such a young age, Arjun insists he spends his time like a normal teenager and his friends keep him grounded. "They call me names like pahadi, Himalaya Putra; they even pull my leg."