“I knocked that bastard out.” – is what Edmund Hillary said when he reached the summit of Mt Everest.
I lost all respect for this man.
There can be no two opinions that he was a great man. To reach the summit of the highest mountain in the world requires not only immense physical but also mental strength, an indefatigable spirit. Years and years of training, perseverance and discipline go into achieving such a feat.
I thought the hardships involved in such a feat humbles down people. Teaches them to be proud and still have respect for nature. And when a man says something like this – you start wondering. Did he really think what he said before he said it? Did he in hindsight ever regret making that remark? Isn’t there an element of luck involved? For forces or nature are beyond man’s control.
If it has to, Nature pulls you up by your collar and asks you with an arrogance unparalleled and unbearable – ‘Just who the hell do you think you are? ‘
I’ve been through it twice and trust me – it shatters you. Breaks you in mind, body and in spirit. Not for ever but at least at that point of time. But it humbles you down for ever. Will never forget that cold morning in Ladakh, when we were out in the open on our Motorcycles on a high mountain pass, completely exposed and no place to seek shelter, caught up in a snow storm.
Never felt so vulnerable, helpless and insecure in life. No – I am not timid. But it instilled in me an unflinching respect for nature which i am proud of.