Attagirl Moni!

Anjita Pradhan


“The path to success is to take massive determined action.”

—Tony Robbins

Yet another mountaineer was the thought that crossed my mind when I was assigned Moni Mulepati and her recent attempt at scaling Everest. Jhonchhe was far flung and when a tired me reached the destination, I was not exactly in the best of spirits. Little did I know then that meeting the Mulepatis would turn out to be a whole new happening! There was enthusiasm and pride in the parents’ eyes as they spoke of their daughter. They left me emotional for a while but I found myself devouring ever information I seemed to find. At the end of the day, I had a fresh perspective on the Mulepatis and life. Attagirl, I whispered as I left the threshold of the Mulepati home, eager to file my experience on the office comp!

The early years Moni spent her childhood like any other kid but there was a difference. Exploring new places and activities was all she ever dreamt of. “Even as child she was very active in taking part in extracurricular activities. She would not back down saying that she didn’t know anything or a game was new to her,” says Mohan Krishna Mulepati, her proud father. She played all sports and was a natural athlete.

With constant determination and effort, she broke down all cultural resistance and swept away obstacles. “Moni was very different from her siblings. In fact, she still is. Once she decides to do a thing she would rest only after completing it. I feel it is because of her determination that she has come a long way and proved her point,” shares Shanti, her mother.

Being an all rounder Moni is adored not only by her parents but relatives and friends. “She was an above average student. There is no field of activity she hasn’t explored and excelled at. She has made us proud,” smiles younger brother Manish.

Better late than never…

Proving her worth in every field Moni moved on and went to Bangkok for further studies. This was a major turning point in her life. “While at Bangkok people used to question her about Nepal. Our country is beautiful and very well known for its mountains. That is what draws the tourists to this country. People asked her if she had climbed any of the mountains and when she found herself dumbfounded in such situations she vowed that she would one day climb the mountains,” narrates her father.

After completing her studies Moni came back to Nepal and helped her father run their guesthouse. The advertisement of Female Trekking Training conducted by Eco Himal and Nepal Mountaineering Association caught her eye and she applied for it immediately. “She took the training in April 2003 at Annapurna Santuary and rock climbing at Balaju,” shares Manish.

A bundle of determination and strong will, Moni did not stop here. She went further and joined mountaineering training at Everest Base Camp, Refreshment Mountaineering course and completed her Advanced Mountaineering Training on December 25, 2005.

Scaling new heights

Her determination and hard work paid off when Moni was appointed to climb Mt Everest and do the honours of hoisting the Rotary Centennial flag on the top of Mt Everest with Pem Dorjee Sherpa and Kami Sherpa. She is the youngest Rotarian to attempt Everest. Prior to this expedition, she has to her credits climbing the Yala Peak (5,159m), Island Peak (6,189m), Chulu East High Camp, Tilicho Base Camp and has reached Camp I of Mt Everest at an altitude of 6,200 m. “She had a dream which she is fulfilling. Though she has gone on various expeditions, this is the one! There has not been a moment of hesitation from our side. Whenever she wanted to do anything, be it playing basketball or climbing, she got full support. We allowed her to pursue her dreams. And her dreams would not have materialised if Rotary Club had not sponsored her climb. It takes a great amount of money along with determination to scale that height,” laughs her father.

Facing criticism Do ill and people criticise you, do good and people still criticise you! This is the nature of people and Moni’s father seems to have realised it by now. “We come from a very orthodox cultural group in Bhaktapur. We still have relatives there. They think that we have let go of our daughter. I, personally, have not and will never differentiate between my son and daughters in imparting all my parental learning and resources to them. But the mindset of people is different. Moni has constantly been proving herself. When she was in the fourth grade she took part in a bicycle race. She was the first girl from our family to ride a bicycle. She now rides bikes!”

Down to earth President of Rotaract Club in New Road City and, herself, a Master in Business Administration, Moni also helps her father in the family business. She is one daughter any parent would be proud of. “It amazes me how she interacts with foreigners and convinces them. She is good at everything she does and is more than a son to me. Success does not get to her head and she shows much concern for her family,” smiles her father.

Simple living and high thinking is what sister Soni quotes the secret of Moni’s success. “She is a wonderful person and a great sister. She does what she says and I wish her the very best in her endeavours,” Soni says.