Lessons from a Mountaineer @ IIMA

Everest down, What next?
Everest down, What next?

Mr. Atul Karwal, who became the first IPS officer from India to climb the Mt. Everest, enthralled the students of IIMA by sharing his experiences from the monumental adventure. In a session organized by IIMA’s Entrepreneurship Club on Friday, he also gave some valuable lessons in life through some truly inspirational examples.

In the journey to Mt. Everest from Base Camp, one first encounters the Khumbhu Ice falls. Navigating through metres-deep moving ice is one of the toughest and most dangerous parts of the journey. In life too, the first hurdle is often the biggest and overcoming that is half the job done.

Earlier, it was considered that the only way one could possibly climb the Everest would be through Tibet and that going through Nepal is near impossible. However, since China banned expeditions through Tibet, every expedition has gone through Nepal. This shows that determination can overcome any obstacles.

Among the deaths that have befallen Everest climbers, almost 80% have occurred during descent. This means that any job is done only when it is complete. One must not get complacent until the final objective is achieved even if a major part of the plan is accomplished.

He also explained that fear up to an extent is good. Fear is what makes one prepare in anticipation of a danger and fear is what keeps one away from danger. However, when fear prevents a person from taking any risk, it means he has lost the battle. Risking nothing equals risking everything as one doesn’t gain anything without risking.

The session also had its lighter moments. He explained that while climbing the Everest, one side was Nepal some 10,000 feet below. On the other side was Tibet, some 12,000 feet below. And one would live longer if he fell on the Tibetan side!

And finally, true to his role as the Joint Police Commissioner (Traffic) for Gujarat, he ended the session by giving tips to students on traffic safety and urging them to follow rules religiously. One of his biggest learning from the expedition was the value of life and he advised students not to risk it for some cheap thrills on the road.

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