Dreams vs. Mother

I just finished reading every accessible document on Tsewang Paljor – the most famous dead body that lives above 8000mts.


BBC’s Rachel Nuwer investigated the sad and little known story behind Everest’s most prominent resident, also called as ‘Green Boots’. She traced every possible thing about Paljor and has beautifully articulated the story. There have been several controversies around Paljor’s death, but no firm action has ever been taken against anyone, because whatever happens in the mountains; stays in the mountains.

Paljor, a kind and happy soul, was only 28 when he lost his life climbing the Everest. He was a member of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force. If you type “Green Boots” into a Google search, you will learn that Paljor, along with climbing partners Tsewang Smanla and Dorje Morup, perished in the 1996 storm, immortalised in Jon Krakauer’s best-selling book Into Thin Air and, more recently, the big-budget thriller Everest.

He joined ITBP for two reasons: to support his family and to climb world’s highest mountain because the men who serve in ITBP specialise in high altitude landscapes – a necessity, given that India’s border with its domineering neighbour stretches across the Himalayas.


To be frank, all of this didn’t surprise me. People who love mountains, belong to the mountains and want to die in the mountains – and Paljor was no different. What caught my mind was his mother, Tashi Angmo. What about her! If you have read any of my previous posts you know how I love to be in the mountains. I live to travel – sounds better. I have a regular job and have been managing my travel by clubbing leaves with the weekends. But of late, the urge to travel and like they say ‘chase my dreams’ is getting stronger. So strong that I have been only and only thinking about what do I do next?

On Monday, I discussed my stray mind with my mother. She lured me into that conversation tactfully. I told her I am contemplating quitting my job and traveling for atleast a year. I spoke for about 20 minutes and she kept listening. I never thought she’ll let me speak for even a minute given she hates my travel plans because I chose not to get married and because I am turning 30 next month. Her only question was ‘what after 1 year?’, to which my answer was, ‘I don’t know’. I may come back and find another job, or may just start something in the mountains. The conversation ended there because she walked out of the room with a sad face.

Right after she left, I could literally see Paljor’s mother, Tashi Angmo, in front of me. I was imagining the conversation she and Paljor must have had when he broke the news about joining the grandiose mission – to become the first Indians ever to summit Everest from its north side. What would have been her reaction? Did she also walk out of the room? Or she stayed back to tell her son with a pat on his back that she is proud of him? I don’t know… I feel most mothers would react the way my mother did – more so because I am a girl. I just hope the rest of the conversations on this go well. Someday I want her to say “you are my daughter and I am proud of you.”


PS. all these pictures have been taken from Rachel’s article on BBC.com.


33 thoughts on “Dreams vs. Mother

  1. First of all..I am so proud of you 🙂

    I came across this article sometime back and i am so surprised the way you have connected this with your personal travel(dream)..very sweetly written.
    I am sure your mother feels it but it will take some time for her to tell you in words that how much she is proud of u.

    keep writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “People who love mountains, belong to the mountains and want to die in the mountains”– first of all, I loved this simple quote. And I’m extremely glad to find such a vivid true-story about Paljor on your writing space. It feels always good to listen to such stories of young minds who dwell to follow their passion for travelling. It’s certain that majority among us love travelling, but when it comes to the exact mode of travelling, most of us fail to agree upon the facts of being a traveler who travels to explore the explicit beauty of what’s around him/ her. People would call it as quite insane thought, but what they actually fail to accept is that how can someone break the barriers of life and live further to simply travel. Just travelling all around the world. Heartfelt respect to Paljor. \m/

    Thank you so much for sharing such a heart warming post. I’m really happy to know about you, too, here, Shilpi. I look forward to read your other posts. Also, I would be glad to know your mindset as a globetrotter– those who wish to see the world from different angles would certainly have quite interesting perspectives deep inside. Never give upon personal findings merely because, maybe, the whole world is against you.

    P.S. I’m more into what you’ve been currently doing– just travelling wherever you wish to travel and see the real world around you.

    Thanks a lot for stopping by my little writing space. Keep in touch!

    Have a good evening!

    ~ Rahul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rahul for such beautiful comments and the encouragement. I have been traveling for a little more than two years and amongst all the questions people ask me, “how and why I travel’, tops the list. I am still asked ‘why traveling over everything else?’ and I think I have been answering/explaining almost everyone who has ever asked me. But to be honest, with time, my answers have changed. If today you ask me, my answer is – ‘let’s travel to get you the answers to why I do what I do.’ And I have been able to inspire people to travel; which feels good.
      I will never stop exploring 🙂 and happy to be connected. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Shilpi,

        That’s quite remarkable to note down from your travelling experiences. But I’ve a query to be raised. Have you ever felt bored in any of your trips? If you did, what’s the reason? If not, why aren’t you getting bored?

        ~ Rahul

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice one. Your mother would surely be proud of you, as would be Paljor’s mum. Following your passions is important because a normal life is boredom ( Eminem said that in Lose Yourself 😉 ). So keep going girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can totally relate to you, more so because I’m a girl myself and I know what it means to women in general, when it comes to questioning the societal mentality of how a girl should ideally live her life. I’ve been living the life of a part time photographer and the questions I face at a daily basis is, well, endless. I extend my support and wishes to you in your life journey and hope that you live your life just the way as you want to.
    P.S Following up your blog. Here’s hoping you’d stop by my blog and honour me as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really believe in chasing my dreams. And honestly speaking, I dint even realize how happy I would be following my dream and that I would fall in love with it!!

    I am sure your mom will be proud of you. with being another, also comes worry and they are entitled to that but they feel the happiest when you are!!

    I wish you all the luck!! Love your travel writings!!


  6. This is exactly how i feel, since i absolutely love traveling. But i don’t ever think about quitting my job (how would i pay for my trips then?).

    I feel, better would be to take occasional vacations and let the funding be intact. That way there would be no unexpected turns in life!


  7. I love the mountains, too. They feel like home. The real kind of home.
    You inspire me. Your decisions, they aren’t wrong. They’re rare, which is why they seem less understood. Just yesterday, my best friend told me that sometimes, only God knows what’s going on in our minds and maybe, He’s teaching us patience. I don’t know. Life’s complicated. But, hey, thanks for sharing your little story. 🙂


    1. exactly my thoughts. it’s all about trying. i maybe not be right but 5 years down, i don’t want to regret the chances i did not take :). i am prepared for the consequences if this doesn’t work.. but, what if it all works out well? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. She is right on her part. U r too. U want to live your dream.. I still have that dream of reaching base camp of everest. Yeah tragedies happen on everest even with best climbers . but u can see how arunima sinha our own Indian did it. I wish u all the very best for this .


  9. Trust me Shilpi she does…sometimes parents are too shy (if I may so) to give in to their true feelings…coz it’s then they can say we are a parent and you are a child…and you would know when you become a parent…
    In the little that I have lived, I have learnt that our parents love us for what we do (mostly) and our by our side…sometimes just takes a little longer for us to realise that…
    Enjoy your adventures…be careful n keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “I told her I am contemplating quitting my job and traveling for atleast a year. I spoke for about 20 minutes and she kept listening.”
    Seems like my life is in sync with many others 😀
    Glad to know about you!!
    Continue your travel! Hope we will run into each other sometime 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by!

    P.S. Loved your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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