Monday, 3 January 2011



He dreams of reaching the North and the South Poles, along with the top 13 mountain peaks of the world. Certainly Arjun Vajpai can think big, because this 16-year-old student of Ryan International school in Noida is the youngest Indian, so far, to have reached the peak of the mighty Mount Everest. He has shared his experiences during the expedition in his recent book, On Top of the World --- My Everest Adventure.

“There are so many wonderful mountains and high altitude locales that people are not aware of,” Arjun says. And so bloomed the idea of penning down the book on his expedition to the Everest. “I thought, this book will help motivate the young Indians to go out for such adventures,” the young author adds.

Interestingly, Arjun was motivated during his trek in one of the hillocks here in Pune. “That was my first experience and it felt as if I was on the top of the world,” he recalls. It is then, this son of a former Army officer realised where his heart lies. So at the age of 15, he got himself enrolled with the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at Uttarkashi. “I was pretty confident that one day I would be there on the Everest,” he says. “But before that, I ventured to several other mountains. My parents and my school have been very supportive. And it all helped me to reach to the top of Everest,” Arjun confirms.

During his Everest expedition, as part of an international group of mountaineers, between April to May this year, Arjun meticulously noted down his experiences on his mobile phone. “It was like a diary. And it came handy later as I began to write this book,” he says.

Writer Anu Kumar helped Arjun to write the book. “Frankly, I mustn't call myself an author, She made things easier for me,” he says with humility. ““Whatever I felt, I saw, I learnt... I put them in this book. We ensured that the language remains simple, so that it is understood by the readers across age groups,” Arjun informs. “We explained the technical terms as easily as possible”. And so far as the places are concerned, the book tried to help the reader visualise the places. “I hope readers can imagine the places as if they have been there,” Arjun adds.

It took about four months to complete writing the book, informs Arjun, for whom the experience of writing the book was “nice”. “It was like going back to my expedition once more,” he asserts. So, each time he will go to some expedition, we can expect new books from Arjun. “We don't conquer any mountain or any terrain. What we do is to connect with the nature, and experience its beauty. Each experience is unique. So, hopefully, the books will bring out a variety of diverse experiences,” Arjun says.