Today, I share with you the inspiring story of Tashi and Nungshi Malik, who successfully scaled Mount Everest on Sunday, May 19, 2013 and became the first ever twin sisters in the world to do so.
Born on June 21, 1991 in a Military hospital at Meerut, in Uttar Pradesh, India, Tashi and Nungshi have had their early schooling in several schools in different states of India, where their father, Colonel Virender S Malik, now retired, served the Indian Army in various capacities. Tashi and Nungshi grew up in the Army cantonments, where the way of life is greatly influenced by the core values that Indian Army cherishes and lives by. These core values of Indian Army are Integrity, Duty, Courage, Respect, Loyalty, Selfless Service, and Honour. When one lives by these values, they become part and parcel of him or her and are discernible in his or her conduct because values are the very core of our behaviour, the motive force of our lives. Values drive our thoughts, behaviour, and actions. We think, behave, and act in a way as decided by our values. This reminds me of what the great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said:
” We are what we repeatedly do…
(Wo)men acquire a particular quality by
Constantly acting a particular way-
You become just by performing just actions,
Temperate by performing temperate actions,
Brave by performing brave actions.”
So, when we are driven by the value ‘Courage’, we tend to become courageous by constantly performing courageous acts. Similarly, Tashi and Nungshi have amply demonstrated their character built on courage when they first scaled Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m), the highest mountain in Africa in February, 2012. Thereafter, they successfully scaled the Mount Everest (8848m), the highest mountain in the world displaying that no challenge was insurmountable with determination, focus, passion, and belief in oneself. They further proved, beyond doubt, their mettle by scaling Mount Elbrus (5642m), the highest mountain in Europe on August 22, 2013.
The names of Tashi and Nungshi signify Luck and Love and that is what they want to give to the whole world in abundance. In addition, they wish to promote the girl child and spread the message of gender equality and fight against female infanticide from the top of the highest peaks in all the seven continents. With Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Everest, and Mount Elbrus already scaled, they are left with only Mount McKinley (6194m) in North America, Mount Aconcagua (6961m) in South America, Mount Carstensz Pyramid (4884m) in Australia, and Mount Vinson Massif (4892m) in Antarctica. Going by their past track record, Tashi and Nungshi can take this challenge easily in their stride. So far their father, Col Malik, has emptied his pockets to make their dream come alive. But a retired service officer could go only this far and perhaps not beyond, so the nation needs to step in to honour the resilience and excellence displayed by the twins. In addition, I fervently hope that the Corporate world would come forward and adopt them as their Brand Ambassadors and sponsor them to make their dream come alive.
Lastly, I sign off this blog post with a message that situations in life offer us variety of problems in the form of different mountains to be surmounted. To face any challenge with grit and determination, we, however, need to develop our character through human values like perseverance, courage, generosity, kindness, beneficence, and compassion, which define who we really are. I also take this opportunity to wish Tashi and Nungshi all the very best in their endeavours. Bravo Tashi and Nungshi; we are proud of you.