“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it – Andy Rooney”. Mountain is a landscape that inspires us, teaches us the life lessons we need, and gives us hope to carry our journey through hardships. While some desire to do summit and climb mountains, others just enjoy the scenic beauty of the Beast, standing straight. Mountain is a homeland of many animals, some are covered with snow and some erupt suppressed anger as a form of lava and some are the notion of biodiversity. Kuntal A. Joisher is a famous vegan mountaineer who climbed Everest twice, Lhotse, Manaslu as well.
Mr. Joisher is born and brought up in a Gujrathi family, weighed 110 kg, and a software engineer by profession and he expressed he was never been in this athletic field before he felt the urge to climb these rock-solid structures, it was his first hiking with his wife in Shimla in 2009 in February, where he found what his soul needed. After that, he started his trekking journey as a mountain lover. In 2010 he signed up the paper to go to the Everest base camp, took a flight to Kathmandu, and then from there they took their journey to Lukla and next 10 days were his golden period, where he devoured the Himalayan beauty with his soul and mind. And his soul fell in love with the sunset in the lap of the Himalayan range. And at that point, he decided to climb up the top of the world but he knew to achieve that deadliest he had to have the best body along with the superior mindset.
The next 4 to 5 yrs were his period to learn about mountains and revised them from time to time. He had done 1000+ trekking from Russia, Chile, Western Ghats of Mumbai, where he learned to never underestimate the power of the mountain and never to overestimate his skill-sets. He dedicated this period to train his skills, mindset as a mountaineer. Mr. Joisher has always believed his mountaineering is a passion, as he still serves as a part-time software engineer and part-time nutritionist.
Kuntal A. Joisher has been brought up in a vegetarian family, so from childhood, he has restricted himself from consuming animal protein, but when he shifted to the USA, his friend introduced him to the cruelty of the woolen or leather industry, and that point of time he realized and converted himself into a vegan. And for long 19 yrs, he has been following the vegan method. When he first asked his trainer about being vegan on the top of the mountain, he got pretty skeptical answers, as back then no one was on the list who was vegan. They advised him to consume eggs, or dairy products, or meat to protect his body heat. At that point, he did his research and decided to climb up Everest as a Vegan or he is quitting his dream. But eventually, he made his mark as the first vegan on the top of the world.
On the way to achieve his dream, he faced multiple obstacles, when he was set to climb up but Nepal had its worst earthquake in the decades, 7.99 on the Richter scale. 17 sherpa guides died in 2014 due to avalanche on the base camp previously. He had seen people died due to the avalanche that happened in the safest site, he felt, God him a chance to climb later, as he had seen multiple dead bodies on that sight. His expedition canceled for back to back two years, after 06 years he drowned in self-doubt whether he would ever be able to make Mt. Everest. But he persevered, never gave up. After the avalanche he was scared but he knew he could not give up. In the third year, he came back to the lap of Everest, and he made it to the top. After the earthquake and avalanche, he was initially scared but his strong mindset and the call from the beauty attracted him towards them. Mr. Joisher expressed how he stayed focused on his dream, committed to his dream, and stayed positive, and never felt demotivated after multiple failures
Kuntal A. Joisher never forgot the people who helped him throughout this journey. His mother and his wife were there as strong pillars in his life to support him, but deep down he feels that motivation or inspirational quotes can work for a certain period but it will never help you to achieve the dream, you want to achieve. He repeatedly thanked his wife and mother, who sacrificed everything, encouraged him so, he can focus on his relationship with Everest. Mr. Joisher prominently mentions Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, who is his second family to rely on while he is in the mountains. He believes, Sherpas are the superman in the mountains, and without them, no one can do this expedition, and Sherpa encouraged him to be the best version of himself emotionally, mentally, physically.
In the pandemic, while everything is shut down, he expressed he is lucky that he has not to worry about food, roof, or anything, while the Pandemic hits hard to many people. He wished that this pandemic resolved soon but to him, sitting at home for 1 or 2yrs, is not a big deal, as he deeply feels he has been blessed with a privileged life but he expressed his concern for those who have to earn daily to feed themselves.
Presently, he is working on the project and trying to aware people of veganism, as earlier back in 2007, there were only 5 vegans in Mumbai that he knew personally, but now it’s about 10 lakhs of vegan people. He expressed that he climbed Mt. Everest twice just to prove to others that Veganism is about lack of protein, rather it’s a lifestyle, where we are saving those cows, chickens, lambs from being slaughtered mercilessly for food and clothes. And he has committed to this journey like he was in the last 10 yrs.
Mr. Joisher is a man of words, who is focused as well, who advised us not to give up on our dreams just because we failed in our prior attempts and failure is not the end of the world, it is a learning and there are many Everest is waiting for you to grind it up.
Mountains have changed the man Mr. joisher was but never killed the soul he had, rather uplifted him and made him the man, who was previously discouraged for being vegan. Dream deserves to be chased, achieved, and grinned. Mr. Kutal A. Joiser like a phenomenal person has encouraged millions of young hearts, and taught millions of people, that anything can be achieved with dedication, focus, perseverance, and not willingness to give up and with a heart full of positivity.
- Team Satyavachan