Rajasekar Pachai, from a fishing community has become the first Chennaiite to scale Mount Everest.
The 27 year old from Kovalam or Covelong who’s a surfer, athlete, and a personal trainer says he wasn’t celebrated when he won a surfing competition as many thought it was a natural talent for someone from the fishing community. It was then he looked up and set his eyes on scaling Mount Everest. “Many, including my colleagues tried to put me down by saying that I only know about the sea and nothing about the mountains. They insisted that I would never be able to do it and that it was merely a waste of money. I wanted to prove them wrong. That drove me” says a proud Rajasekar.
A determined Kutti, as he is fondly called began his Everest journey in June, 2022 by trekking to Chennai’s Tirusulam hill with a weighted jacket and a heavy backpack. Later he gained more experience scaling the Velliangiri hills in Coimbatore, and the snowy Manali over several weeks before heading to Nepal to trek the snow capped mountains of the Himalayan terrain. He trekked these mountains in knee-deep snow and shoes that weighed about 3 kilos each. “The treks were very difficult and I thought of giving up many times but what kept me going was my determination to prove to the people who thought I didn’t have it in me that I could do it.” said Rajasekar to tellmystory.in
Rajasekar says he was more worried about the cost for the expedition than the required fitness. “The cost ran into lakhs and I had no idea how I was going to manage it” he said. That was when he says “A certain generous parent from the surf classes I teach, stepped in to help me. It was through him that I got a sponsorship. It was only because of my supportive family and this sponsor I was able to achieve this dream.”
The expedition, Rajasekar says put his determination and perseverance to test. He started his journey on the 13th of April and reached the summit on 19th May at 5:30 AM. The climb was strenuous and dangerous. “A little slip, none can see even our body” he says. He added “It wasn’t just taxing physically but also emotionally and psychologically”. He not only faced freezing cold at minus 20 degree temperature but also had to witness multiple loss of lives. The journey not only made him stronger physically but also psychologically.
When asked about how he felt when he finally reached the summit of the Everest, Rajasekar told tellmystory.in “I was quite literally on top of the world. The rest of the world was beneath my feet. I hugged my Sherpa (his guide) as I cried and thanked him for all his help. It wasn’t something that happened in a day or two. It was a very difficult year long process”.
Rajasekar isn’t done yet. He wants to now scale the peaks in every continent. “We have for instance Kilimanjaro. I want to scale it. None has scaled peaks of all continents. I want to do it”.