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From Reel to Real: How a TV Show Inspired a Young Girl to Conquer the Mount Everest

Read incredible and passionate journey of a girl who was so inspired by a television series that she climbed the Mount Everest. But the journey wasn’t easy. Read full story to know how she did it.

In the vast realm of television serials, which have often been criticized for negatively influencing society, there exist captivating narratives that can profoundly impact lives in a positive way. One such extraordinary instance revolves around the renowned serial “Mount Everest,” broadcasted on Star Plus. This gripping show served as the catalyst that ignited the spirit of determination and aspiration within a young girl named Manisha Payal from Haryana.

“ We were all watching this serial on TV and my family members would talk highly of the actor in the serial. This is when it clicked in my mind that I have to be a girl like her, recollects Manisha.

Born in the year 1994, Manisha’s academic journey led her to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2017, followed by a Masters in Business Administration from G.J.U. in 2019. At present, she admirably serves as a Trainer in the NCC wing of G.J.U.

The transformative chapter of her life commenced in 2015, as she found herself enthralled by the adventures portrayed in the television serial “Mount Everest.” This engrossing tale of resilience and triumph resonated deeply with her, sparking an audacious dream within her heart. Inspired by the tenacious protagonist of the show, she boldly set her sights on summiting the awe-inspiring Mount Everest, driven by the belief that if the fictional character on screen could scale the peak, so could she.

However, Manisha’s pursuit of her mountaineering dream encountered formidable resistance from her family and relatives. They viewed her aspiration with skepticism, urging her to focus solely on her studies and secure a promising career. Unfazed by their laughter and doubts, she harnessed her unwavering determination and steadfast dedication to overcome each obstacle in her path towards fulfilling her extraordinary ambition.

“The dream to do something different was there. After working for sometime, I decided to quit the job and follow my passion. However, I told them that I wanted to continue my studies hiding the real intention behind leaving the job, ” says Manisha about the initial phase.

“ I wanted people to know me by my work not by my name. ”

Finally, in 2017, she managed to persuade her parents to support her mountaineering aspirations and enrolled herself at the esteemed Himalaya Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. She embarked on a rigorous journey of training, undergoing the Basic Mountaineering Course with an outstanding “A” grading in May 2018, and later conquering the Advance Mountaineering Course with equal brilliance in November of the same year.

Her relentless pursuit of excellence led her to achieve a historic feat in January 2019 when she successfully completed her first expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro. Out of 21 Indian members in the expedition team, she stood tall as the sole woman participant. Her indomitable spirit guided her to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, where she proudly waved the Indian Flag, saluted the Prime Minister, and melodiously sang the National Anthem, etching her name in the revered Limca Book of Records.

Yet, Manisha’s journey was far from over, as the grand pinnacle of her aspirations remained Everest’s majestic peak. In May 2019, she embarked on an arduous expedition to Nepal alongside a group of four determined mountaineers. The path was treacherous, and many succumbed to the unforgiving weather and medical adversities, but Manisha’s fortitude remained unshaken. Enduring the biting cold and scaling the perilous heights without the aid of a Sherpa, she finally etched her name in history as she triumphantly stood atop Mount Everest, breathing in the rarefied air of victory.

With Everest conquered, Manisha Payal’s unwavering spirit now envisions scaling the formidable Mount Elbrus in Russia during June, fueling her relentless pursuit of conquering the impossible. Her awe-inspiring tale of determination and resilience continues to inspire countless souls, reminding us that from the narratives we watch on the screen, seeds of greatness and triumph can sprout, inspiring dreams that soar beyond the tallest peaks.

For those aspiring to scale the Mount Everest and other peaks around the globe,  Manisha has a message: “ Go there with proper knowledge and do not take risk with your life. I learnt patience and lived everyday as the last day of my life.  For girls being bold is important.”

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About the author

Mir Aiyaz