Published: 28th May 2018
Hyderabadi girl Srujana Shaga listens to Bryan Adams while conquering mountain peaks
Hyderabadi girl, Srujana Shaga just conquered Mount Kilimanjaro and already has her heart set on the next peak
Like most super active kids, Srujana Shaga used to indulge in a few extreme sports now and then during her summer holidays, but she never imagined that at the age of 23, she would be scaling mountains. In April this year, this novice scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. And it all started after a conversation with Arunima Sinha, the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest.
As a volunteer at Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad, Shaga met Arunima Sinha on multiple occasions and was instantly inspired. They kept in touch and slowly, Sinha's passion rubbed off on Shaga, who soon signed up for a few courses, including a basic rock climbing course. She was so serious about her new-found passion that she worked out for two hours every day, including cardio and a Tabata workout.
Shaga is training with Boots and Crampons in ECIL, Hyderabad. She is looking to climb Mount Kosciuszko in the second week of June
Though an amateur, this Computer Science engineer from CMR College of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, was ready to scale Mount Kilimanjaro. And as she went through three terrains — rainforest, barren land and finally, Mount Kilimanjaro itself, the words of Swami Vivekananda and tunes of Bryan Adams and Kelly Clarkson kept her motivated, she confesses. "I kept repeating Vivekananda's quote 'Stop not till the goal is reached' to myself," she says. Also, Metallica's song Nothing Else Matters, "especially the line ‘So close, no matter how far’," was on loop, she tells us.
The mountains don't know whether the mountaineer is a man or a woman, so we too must not underestimate either
Srujana Shaga, mountaineer
But all through her climb, the climate was not in tandem with Shaga as it was unpredictable — rain, snow, sunshine, hail — everything hit her. But Shaga, accompanied by her guide and other two colleagues, kept at it. She didn't even let her altitude sickness get to her. She just pushed herself and when she set her eyes on the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, all her strength and positivity was as good as restored. This pushed her to stay calm and climb on.
Another quote that Shaga believes in is Edmund Hillary's saying ‘It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves’
On April 2, Srujana Shaga finally conquered the peak and she knew that there was no stopping her after that. Now, plans are on for her to climb Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko in June. "More than proving it to others, it was about proving it to myself that I am capable of this," says Shaga. But of course, the physical strain and obstacles aside, there were other problems she had to deal with. Like relatives, who kept questioning her parents. But her parents remained ever-so-encouraging.
Such a poser: Srujana Shaga at Kilimanjaro National Park
Motivated by her parents, this is the message Shaga wants to pass on to other girls as well, "Give your parents enough confidence so that they trust in you and your abilities." Shaga plans to take up the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge, which involves climbing the highest peaks of all the seven continents. It's going to be tough, but we know she's got it in her.