Everest, marriage or education? Why the Malik twins chose to scale new heights

In 2013, Nungshi and Tashi Malik set off to climb Mt. Everest at the age of 21.

View in App
Agencies
Nungshi Malik (L) with Tashi Malik (R). (Image: Twin Climbers/Instagram)
By Rohan Abraham

Having conquered Everest and other famous peaks, the Malik twins want to break down the societal mountains Indian women face.

In 2013, Nungshi and Tashi Malik set off to climb Mt. Everest, aged 21. Before departing, the twins snuck a letter in their parents’ room in case they did not return. They made it back from the expedition, and subsequently completed the Adventurers Grand Slam (climbing the highest peak on each of the seven continents and travelling on foot to the North and South Poles).


The ice ceiling
The mountains are impartial. In the rarefied reaches of the highest peaks, a single misstep can be a climber’s undoing.

“Few professional mountaineers at tempt Mt. Everest, and fewer still make it back alive,” Tashi said. “A single mistake can be fatal, whether you are a man or a woman.”

Tryst with the hills
The Maliks, who hail from rural Haryana, had their first encounter with mountaineering in 2009. After returning home from school, they learned that their father, Col. Virender Singh Malik, had applied to the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Dehradun on their behalf. The twins idolise their father for his support.
ADVERTISEMENT

“Few professional mountaineers attempt Mt. Everest, and fewer still make it back alive.” — TASHI MALIK
Hardik Pandya, Rani Rampal, Peyush Bansal: Sports And Business Leaders Reveal Their Tools Of Success
1/10

By ET Bureau

Come Dussehra, leading business and sports names reveal their tools of success and the instruments that play a role in their professional lives.

In pic: From left (Hardik Pandya, Rani Rampal, Peyush Bansal)

By ET BureauCome Dussehra, leading business and sports names reveal their tools of success and the instruments that play a role in their professional lives.In pic: From left (Hardik Pandya, Rani Ramp..
Read More

Indian cricketer “Since I am an all-rounder, for me, the bails would be something I would worship related to work. Cricket is everything for me. I can’t imagine life without it. When I bat or bowl, they [the bails] play a very important role.”

Image: Hardik Pandya/Instagram

Indian cricketer “Since I am an all-rounder, for me, the bails would be something I would worship related to work. Cricket is everything for me. I can’t imagine life without it. When I bat or bowl, t..
Read More

Suresh Narayanan, chairman, Nestlé India “I worship, trust and have witnessed the power of people. [During my career] I have tried to empower, enable and nurture my team to ensure that our relationships stay strong, durable, credible and sustainable. I have abiding faith in the strength and support of employees, partners, distributors, suuppliers and consumers. My life’s learning has been that if you take care of people, they take care of you.”

Suresh Narayanan, chairman, Nestlé India “I worship, trust and have witnessed the power of people. [During my career] I have tried to empower, enable and nurture my team to ensure that our relationsh..
Read More

Abhyuday Jindal, MD, Jindal Stainless Ltd “If work is worship, worship is integrity. The integrity of intent and action. The integrity of human relationships, of al lowing them to change the world, starting with ourselves, for a better version. The integrity of practising what we preach. The integrity of courage, taking risks and owning the rewards and retributions that come with it.”

Abhyuday Jindal, MD, Jindal Stainless Ltd “If work is worship, worship is integrity. The integrity of intent and action. The integrity of human relationships, of al lowing them to change the world, s..
Read More

Peyush Bansal, founder, Lenskart.com “For me, an integral part of my work day is my hot cup of coffee. That is what keeps me going through the day. Moreover, some of the world’s most effective thoughts happen over morning coffee.”

Peyush Bansal, founder, Lenskart.com “For me, an integral part of my work day is my hot cup of coffee. That is what keeps me going through the day. Moreover, some of the world’s most effective though..
Read More

Nikhil Mohan, founder, Blackberrys Menswear says, “If work is worship, I would revere asking questions. The single-minded pursuit of why behind whys. Sooner or later, it provides an answer for all maladies.”

Nikhil Mohan, founder, Blackberrys Menswear says, “If work is worship, I would revere asking questions. The single-minded pursuit of why behind whys. Sooner or later, it provides an answer for all ma..
Read More

Satyen Momaya, CEO, Celio Future Fashion Pvt Ltd India says “An integral part of my office life would be focusing on building my health and well-being to be able to deal with daily work challenges and chase ambitious goals. Along with my daily prayer, I practice the technique for inner peace and well-being. Transcendental meditation acts like a turbo charger to the mind.”

Satyen Momaya, CEO, Celio Future Fashion Pvt Ltd India says “An integral part of my office life would be focusing on building my health and well-being to be able to deal with daily work challenges an..
Read More

Gunjan Soni, head, Jabong and CMO, Myntra, says “[When it comes to work] I can’t live without my iPhone-iWatch combo. It’s my lifeline to getting everything done. At home the virtual assistants are the new favourite — from weather forecast to favourite songs to switching of flights — dependence [on technology] is increasing to newer heights.”

Gunjan Soni, head, Jabong and CMO, Myntra, says “[When it comes to work] I can’t live without my iPhone-iWatch combo. It’s my lifeline to getting everything done. At home the virtual assistants are t..
Read More

Rani Rampal, India hockey team captain, says “I play hockey and my hockey stick would be the thing related to work that I would worship. It is very integral to my game and I have lost count of the number of goals and winning passes it has helped me make during my career. I do have a number of hockey sticks and they all have had a role to play in my success over the years.”

Rani Rampal, India hockey team captain, says “I play hockey and my hockey stick would be the thing related to work that I would worship. It is very integral to my game and I have lost count of the nu..
Read More

Priyanka Gill, founder of POPxo, says “I may not have a worship ritual, but my iPhone is central to my work life. Since I am always on the go, I catch up on everything through my phone — be it emails, taking updates from my team, or little in-between-work breaks and scrolling through my Instagram feed. It makes my work day easier and it’s usually the first thing I check before and after bed.”

Priyanka Gill, founder of POPxo, says “I may not have a worship ritual, but my iPhone is central to my work life. Since I am always on the go, I catch up on everything through my phone — be it emails..
Read More

“Our father believed that getting out of your comfort zone empowers you,” said Tashi.

The challenge
The Maliks’ house was divided on the question of Everest. Their mother, Anjoo, was not sure the girls should go, while Col. Malik moved mountains to secure the Rs 40 lakh required for the expedition (no corporate house helped him).

“Our mother gave us three options — climb Everest, get married, or study abroad. It was an easy choice,” said Tashi.

Finding fame
ADVERTISEMENT
After climbing Everest, the Maliks were optimistic that they’d come by money to finance their ambition of completing the Adventurers Grand Slam. “We thought we’d get funding, but it was still a challenge,” said Tashi.

“We were lauded by the press, but the private sector was not taken by our achievements as mountaineering is not a spectator sport. We got more recognition outside.”

The greater good
The sisters returned to India from the Everest base camp to receive news of the Nirbhaya rape case. “We were delighted by our success, but were shattered by the invisible mountains our girls have to climb in India,” said Tashi.

To tackle the gender imbalance in society, the twins set up the Nungshi Tashi Foundation, dedicated to advancing the lives of Indian women through outdoors, sports, and mountaineering.
Download
The Economic Times Business News App
for the Latest News in Business, Share Market & More.
READ MORE
ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE:

LOGIN & CLAIM

50 TIMESPOINTS

ET Business Listings
Generate Enquiries for your Business by Listing on Economictimes.com

More from our Partners

Loading next story
Text Size:AAA
save image

Success
This article has been saved

*