Dream; Settle Later

Two Bangladeshis climbed the highest mountain in the world–in 2010, then in 2012. Having come back down, they tell us, “Dream; settle later.”

When Musa Ibrahim, the first, saw no drive in fresh adventurers, he eyed Nepal’s Mount Everest. Next, Wasfia Nazreen proved girls could, too. She, on her lonesome, used climbing to free women–inspired by hula-hoop girls from her past.

Standing in the low lands we live in, what made their young minds manifest such mammoth ideas? Let us hear out those who have touched the sky.

Musa Ibrahim–educating to explore.

Our young are our biggest hope: their dreams surpass our doubts and fears.

News Editor Musa Ibrahim had two goals: inspire kids to explore and bring glory. Therefore, he set eyes on Everest.

A dreamer’s birth and study

Musa Ibrahim was born in 1979 in a free Bangladesh. He grew up in Bogura to the North–namely in Panchagarh and Thakurgaon. Later, he went to Dhaka.

In Dhaka, he got his HSC from Notre Dame College.

Last, he went on to study at Dhaka University, a prestigious public university with a huge number of prospects.

Raring to climb, but planning comes first

In 2004, Ibrahim and friends chalked up the plan to get Bangladesh out there. While this passion drove them, they commenced training in 2005, and by 2007, they were scaling up mountains.

People would ask, ‘When are you scaling up Everest?’ but we could not give a clear answer; we were in doubt.

Despite this, he took the final plunge in 2010.

The perilous Everest

If you want to be great, you will face hurdles. Ibrahim speaks on why it took 40 years of freedom:

“Everest” makes us shake, and climbing it crosses not our minds…

When cruel nature at North Col sent MA Muhit home, Ibrahim was alone; yet he waited. When the path cleared on May 19, he and the others kept at it. Days later, he donned the Bangladeshi flag atop the windswept peak scene.

… Otherwise, it would not have taken us 40 years.

The (brown) cherry on top

It was May 23, 2010. As the sun rose, so rose man: the chilly Everest summit got busy crowning Musa Ibrahim, its first Bangladeshi victor.

When Musa got off the snow-laden death trap, he was a hero: one for the comic books. His name and fame spread everywhere. Above all, he met his goal of inspiring young kids to take on the world. Besides, he inspires in that one earning well from intellectual jobs can go on adventures, too.

Wasfia Nazreen–a regular hero under the pretty face.

Since her childhood, Nazreen had seen only disaster. She felt small and down. Therefore, she did what she must–she climbed Mount Everest, alone, and took every little girl with her. She is the only Bangladeshi to have won the highest peak in each continent–the Seven Summits.

Hula girl–social inequality and judgment

Bright and chirpy Wasfia was born on October 27, 1982 in Dhaka. As a 6-year-old living in Southern Khulna, she met a Western girl at her dad’s office. When the two were playing with a hula, a conservative do-gooder aunt says, “Good girls don’t shake their hips.” Also, Nazreen’s heard, “If you bike, you’ll lose your virginity.” Thus, the naïve girl lived a caged life. Besides, by 14, she had lost a home, her parents had split way back, and she was living with an aunt.

From dreamer to climber

I was lucky that I had an auntie like her. For she made me see that nothing is above education for a woman to survive in the world.

Therefore, she began exploring the world outside; she got into a university in the USA. “Settling in [at college] in the USA at 18–those were the steep hills for me,” Nazreen says.

“Later, to work for Dalai Lama’s news agency, I went to India, Nepal, and Tibet, where I got my inspiration,” she adds.

A woman gave me her talak (divorce) sum and said, “Please go free my soul on the summit.”

Thus, guardian angels inspired her to scale up the Seven Summits with fresh ardour.

Thorns on the alp

… The struggle in the mountain was so parallel to the struggle women face in society.

Including many on Everest, myriad thorns lined Nazreen’s Seven Summits journey.

She adds, “It was a brutally lonely journey. I’ve gone through every extreme situation from eating my own [ordure] to being held captive in Papua.” She adds more, “I’ve lost 4 of my best friends in the past 4 years.” What has not she seen–tents flown away, sky-high US medical bills for frostbite, and earthquakes on waking?

A young hero to young women

Whenever Nazreen felt down, she did something we all forget to do. “I thought of the women back home.” Though we are the “main characters” in our life, we need not focus on ourselves all the time. Nazreen adds, “Finally, I accomplished a feat, which by default made me the first Bangladeshi. That was not my goal.” Her goal: lifting up girls like her to girls who will not get hushed for playing with hoops or riding bikes.

The list of Bangladeshi Everest winners:

  1. Musa Ibrahim (May 23, 2010) [first Bangladeshi (man)]
  2. MA Muhit (May 22, 2011; May 19, 2012) [twice]
  3. Nishat Majumder (May 19, 2012) [first Bangladeshi woman]
  4. Wasfia Nazreen (May 26, 2012) [youngest Bangladeshi]

Why dream big?

Cameron from Modern Family says, “Dream big, winnow down.” For if, you do not dream big–if you do not give education, health and morality your all–no one will remember you. Do not get me wrong: doing the bare minimum is okay to everyone else. Nonetheless, what do you want? To live within hearts and mountaintops or to stay grounded. You decide.


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