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May is the month for mothers, and we’ve seen, heard and read about one inspiring mom after the other. As moms, we all derive our inspiration from someone or the other, our role model moms, those whom we look up to, whom we attempt to emulate in our motherhood journey. From our own moms, to mom-in-laws, to sisters, our maids, the neighbours, our own kids, prominent celebrities, social workers, etc. – somewhere or the other we’re all inspired by someone to “mother on”!
Not this mom. For this mom, her #momspiration is Nature, the outdoors, the mountains. Most specifically, one mountain, and that is, the mighty Everest. Meet Anshu Jamsenpa, the 32-year-old mountaineer and mother of two hailing from the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. She has scaled Mount Everest a record breaking 5 times!
On Sunday, May 21st, Anshu Jamsenpa created world history by reaching the summit of Mount Everest for the second time in less than a week, setting a women's record for a double ascent of the world's highest mountain in a single season. She had scaled the mighty 8,848-metre (29,028-feet) peak on May 16th and turned around after a short rest to repeat the feat.
Anshu says “adventure has been in her blood”, although as a child, she was not very adventurous and was more interested in paragliding in her youth. However, she developed an interest in mountaineering while she was helping her husband and a few other enthusiasts during an adventure training camp; ever since, there has been no looking back.
Hailing from a small town in Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh, she belongs to the Buddhist Monpa tribe. Today, she epitomises what we all, as women, as mothers, struggle for – an identity of our own. The fact that she has managed to do so in a frontier state that has a rock solid patriarchal structure is laud worthy and immensely inspiring.
She has shed her homemaker persona and embraced her international celebrity status – to further the cause of the women hailing from her region, and to lend her voice to various environmental issues that plague her home state of Arunachal Pradesh.
For Anshu, being a wife and a mother is a beautiful experience, but the search for her own identity has lent strength to her life and that reflects in every aspect of it, especially in her own self as a mother. For her two daughters aged 10 & 14, she is not just a mother, but a great role model and a true inspiration. She also believes that as women, we’re all talented in one way or the other, but the difference is whether we live our dream or not.
Jamsenpa, an avid believer, was blessed by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama before leaving for her momentous expedition, which she believes will always motivate her and infuse strength to overcome all her struggles. Jamsenpa's indomitable spirit cannot be eulogised so soon though – because as she herself says, she is not done yet!
Anshu’s love for adventure sports has lent her a deeper appreciation for the wilderness. Her daughters are now old enough to understand the gravity of what their mother has undertaken. She admits candidly that the one thing she's proud of is setting an example for them.
Anshu Jamsenpa is an inspiration in every sense of the word and yet it’s very difficult to imagine what kind of spirit rules the lives of people like her, who do so much with the time they have. It’s best to celebrate her determination and get inspired to follow our dreams, in every aspect of our life!