Aditya Gupta is the founder of The Rug Republic, a TEDx Speaker, and someone who loves travelling. After climbing the Everest, he decided to write a small article about the lessons he learned during his expedition but ended up writing a photo essay.
Entrepreneur, adventurist, and extremely passionate climber Aditya Gupta had one thing on his mind, and it was about completing his goal of reaching the peak of Mount Everest. During his expedition, he didn't think about writing his journey because he was focussing on himself and trying things that he had in his mind. But, when he came back, the expedition kept playing in my mind. "The experiences I had on that trip made a deep impact on me.", says Aditya Gupta.
Aditya likes to call himself a climber rather than a mountaineer. He says he hasn't conquered anything, and it was the mountain that let him climb. Once Mr. Gupta was back from his journey, the whole experience replayed in his mind. That's when he thought about the things he learned from the mountains and began jotting down his ideas a little.
"It was a small article initially and I called it the '5 lessons from Everest'. Then I shared it with others, and I saw that people felt connected and impacted by the piece.", he says. During this, there were 2 questions that people kept asking Aditya. The first one was about fear, and that's when he added a 6th lesson by the name 'Make friends with fear'. " I think fearing Everest is pretty obvious. It does frighten you and I say, dar kise Nahi lagta? So that's not the question. The real question is what does it makes you do? How do you handle this fear? And the answer is by acknowledging it because that fear will not go anywhere. So, either you make it a friend or treat it as an enemy", he explains.
Next came the second most asked question! This one was about the message Aditya wanted to give to his audience. "Take one step at a time, have patience, and so on, and people do know these things already. But, the context of oxygen running out on Everest is a real thing. When you reach out to camp 4, you have a fixed amount of oxygen. You only have 4 cylinders and if you don't make it to the camp before you run out of oxygen, you'll die. There is no conversation! Mount Everest does not give second chances. So that becomes a very important lesson in life.", he says.
After this, he came up with the 7th lesson, 'Time Is Oxygen'. Aditya feels that sometimes life is kind, and you get a second chance, but you never know. "So, that became lesson no. 7, and eventually I was encouraged to write more and since it was lockdown, and I had more time in hand, I wrote a book eventually.", he says.
Writing a book is a lot different and requires many things. Sharing his book writing process with us, Aditya says, "Writing for a Facebook post is very different from writing a book. It is like carving on a stone. It needs to be of a certain level. You have to check it over and over again. But, it has been an absolute pleasure as I wanted to preserve my learning for myself and future generations.", says Aditya Gupta.
With his photo essay, '7 Lessons from Everest', Aditya intends to raise Rs.1 crore to be donated to CRY. He has been associated with CRY for a long time because of his business and has donated from time to time. It began with a donation that he gave to CRY on behalf of his business associates instead of Diwali gifts. So, this time, when he wrote a book, he wanted to donate the proceeds from the sales for COVID relief.
"We took a goal to raise an amount which was like an Everest itself. I think anybody can raise 30-40 thousand, but collecting Rs.1 Crore was an Everest in itself. I became even more conscious because of the pandemic and everybody was going through something. Also, I did not feel right to ask people to contribute or do the funding, so this is another Everest that we are trying to touch and we have collected around Rs.70 lakhs as of now. I am confident that if we get the word around, it will reach or exceed the target.", he says.
Even though he has touched the pinnacle of Mount Everest, Aditya Gupta calls himself a climber and not a Mountaineer. " It would be inaccurate to call someone like me a mountaineer because the rope is set by the Sherpa ( a member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering), and I had only climbed it. A mountaineer does everything on his own, while a climber only climbs, and Sherpas do the rest of the work.", he explains.
But, it is also a fact that Aditya completed his expedition and did not give up in these 2 months. Mountains can be ruthless, and it requires one to be passionate and patient. If you are also wondering what it needs and what kind of preparation is required for such expeditions, Aditya has a proper plan for you. "So, there are 3 levels of the preparation. The first one is Physical preparation. Your body is the most basic tool you need there, and it's the easiest part of the preparation. If you are preparing for a year or so, then you can work on your cardio capacity, build on your strength. In my case, it was to work on the weight. So I did.", he says.
The next step in the preparation is comparatively simple. "The technical side has become easier as a lot of mountaineering technicalities are handled by the agencies. They will help you with the routes, and almost everything. But, you will have to climb.", says Aditya Gupta.
But, the last and the most important part of the preparation is the most difficult one. "It's long and takes about 2 months. So, you need a high endurance level. To live in that condition and do things on a day-to-day basis can really exhaust people. When conditions are dangerous and you are passing through difficult parts, that's where the passion comes into play. You have to be passionate to be able to prepare with discipline and sacrifice. There has to be optimism while dealing with a difficult situation. And, nobody can teach you that and one has to experience it first hand.", says Aditya.
Aditya also feels that emotional intelligence is the hardest part, and one can't learn it in a year or two. He believes it to be a lifelong process and suggests climbing other mountains and see how your body and mind react. "On Everest after 30 days you'd want to give up and go home. Thus, passion is what will keep you going.", he adds.
Aditya Gupta indeed oozes a lot of energy and positive vibes, and we wonder what keeps him inspired all the time? To which he says, "It's a quote by Rumi that has been my motto, and it reads 'Every living person or thing will experience death but not every living person will experience life. I think it's important to know how you make your life better as it is not only about eating, running etc.", he says. He feels that Everest is a transformational experience that he was fortunate to have gained from Mount Everest itself. "I'm happy to have shared those learning with the rest of the world. ", he says.
'7 Lessons from Everest' is a first-hand photo essay on Aditya's expedition, and it teaches the most important things one must know about climbing. The book aims to raise money for CRY, which is helping children. " I'd like people to contribute to cry and get the book to learn more about the expedition.", says Aditya Gupta.