Mad about mountains

TRENDSETTER: Dashyani Vikram shares her mountaineering experiences with members of Jan Shikshan Sansthan in Vijayawada on Saturday. PHOTO: RAJU V.  

Staff Reporter

At 58, her romance shows no signs of waning. This fine art teacher had a tryst with the mighty Everest and also led many expedition teams

VIJAYAWADA: Appearances are deceptive. This adage goes down well with 58-year-old Dashyani Vikram, a fine art teacher based at Bangalore.

At an age when many women prefer to watch melodramatic soaps on the telly box sitting in the cosy confines of their drawing rooms, this diminutive lady ventures out to climb mountains ranging from the mighty Everest to the Pindari glacier in Uttaranchal.

Dashyani, an adventure sports freak, was in Vijayawada on Saturday to inspire women to take up the challenging task. At a meeting organised by Jan Shikshan Sansthan, she highlighted her decades of association with the silent mountains and the advantages of staying closer to nature.

Courage from nature

"I was always fascinated by mountains. Mother Nature reduces tension and soothes the soul. She also gives necessary courage to face the modern world besotted with tension. More than anything, one can stay fit and control emotions by associating with nature," she added. Dashyani said she had participated in eighteen expeditions and also led many men's expedition teams all over the country.

"A sort of a vacuum engulfs women in 30s and 40s. In fact, women of this age group can do better in any of their chosen pursuits as they possess the all-important experience," she added.

Athlete too

Dashyani joined the Spark Adventure Club to learn the nuances of trekking and later fine-tuned her skills at the Himalaya Mountaineering Institute at Darjeeling. She is also a quality athlete, having represented Karnataka in kho-kho and 1500 meter and 800-meter races in track and field events.

"Many women think that trekking means climbing mountains with ropes and other paraphernalia. In fact, walking on a mountain is also trekking and it is not all difficult," she explains.

Dashyani trekked to the base of Mount Everest in 1986 and also romanced with several mountain ranges in the Himalayas both in India and Nepal. Sharing her experiences,

Dashyani says that in 1993 she ventured to cross a dangerous passage at Gangotri and Bhadri, which, she points out, was a test for human endurance.