Dikki Sherpa is among the few female sherpas in Nepal. The 26-year-old who was in the city for a mountain expedition as a part of Giripremi’s International Mountain Day Festival, talks about her love for adventure among other things
When I met her this week at Giripremi’s office, an apartment converted into an office, Dikki (Sherpa) was too shy and hesitant to meet, forget having a conversation about her life and journey. After much persuasion, when she came, Dikki turned out to be an extremely warm, fun-loving, witty and jovial girl, not to forget her raw beauty and flawless skin. But before you can tag her as a delicate beauty from the hills of Nepal, she tells us that she loves shattering stereotypes and enjoys challenging herself.
A professional sherpa and a mountaineer, the 26-year-old who along with her husband Babu (Sherpa) was in the city to be a part of Giripremi’s International Mountain Day Festival, is training to scale Mt Everest next year. Being a sherpa is not a common profession for women in Nepal but Dikki refused to conform to set notions.
“I began with trekking and after completing many treks on smaller hills in Nepal, my thirst and desire to reach higher peaks led me to a professional mountaineering training course so that I could pursue a career as a sherpa,” says Dikki, who took up mountaineering about five years ago.
How does she feel when she meets urban girls taking up mountaineering? “Bahot accha lagta hai ki ladkiya woh sab kar sakte hain jo ladke kar sakte hain!”, she says, adding, “When I had started, a lot of people didn’t like it. Initially, villages would try to brainwash my husband with their patriarchal mindset. But he has been extremely supportive and encouraging and we all need such men in our lives.”
Talking about the challenges she faces as a girl, Dikki says that the obstacles are all in our head and the way we look at ourselves. “There is this misconception that women are not strong and here I do not mean physical strength. Women themselves think that they are too emotional and easy to break down in adverse situations. This is false. Women are much more determined and mentally strong than they think. They should stop underestimating themselves and begin challenging their own capacity,” urges Dikki.
She recalls an incident where a 60-year-old climbed the highest peak faster than all others in her group. “Having said that, the safety of a woman lies in her own hand. You have to be extremely alert and know that you are no less than the men. Your confidence will help you reach greater heights,” she adds.
Of course, issues like proper sanitation on the mountains, periods etc cause some discomfort but she is not perturbed by them.
Dikki says that irrespective of one’s gender, a good sherpa is one who has immense patience and is willing to take others under one’s wings. “A sherpa should be like a mother — willing to take care of her child through thick and thin. We have to rejoice with the group and cry with them. Push them and feed them even when they are not hungry as it will keep them going. You have to take everything in your stride,” says Dikki.