An American motivational speaker Denis Waitley has an interesting take on the nature of success and failure. He once said, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing,”
For 53-year-old Sangeeta Sindhi Bahl from Jammu, who became the oldest Indian woman to scale Mount Everest on May 19, these words ring true.
She narrowly missed out on conquering the highest peak in the world, standing at 29,035 feet last year. She was with six other climbers who suffered from high-altitude sickness. All of them had to be evacuated.
But determination, persistence and courage took her over the line this time. In the process, she not only became the oldest Indian woman to scale the peak, but also the first woman from her state.
In doing so, Sangeeta beat fellow climber Premlata Agarwal who scaled Everest at the age of 48, on May 20, 2011.
Born and raised in Jammu, Sangeeta was a former Miss India contestant in 1985, who reached the finals. She talked to The Tribune, from the Mount Everest base camp. She said, “I feel on top of the world after scaling the world’s highest peak.” On Tuesday, she landed in Kathmandu.
Speaking to the Chandigarh-based publication, Sangeeta spoke about the expedition. “There was no fear at all. Life is too short to keep thinking,” she said.
More pertinently, when the question of her age came up, she dismissed the notion that it had anything to with scaling Mount Everest. “Age is just a number. Everything falls in place if you pursue your dreams at any age,” she said.
In her regular life, Sangeeta is the Founder-Director of Impact Image Consultants, based in Gurgaon.
Tamae Watanabe from Japan currently holds the record for being the oldest woman to scale Mount Everest. She reached the summit in May 2012 at the ripe old age of 73.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)