The Barefoot Executive meets a pair of skis
It’s fair to say that the Himalayas were an integral part of my school days. They would rise to prominence just before the cyclic geography assessment in school and then fade into obscurity until the next academic evaluation loomed. Despite growing up in the subcontinent that housed the world’s highest peaks, I have to admit that my encounter with mountains, in general, was relegated to the atlas, schoolwork or a rare sighting on celluloid.
Mountain sports are an uncommon pursuit in India. My compatriots and I typically covet mountains as a backdrop for a Bollywood production or a photograph. Against the light of this ethnic propensity, it’s perhaps slightly odd that our family was keen to explore skiing.
Initially, a quest for new experiences drove us – the thrill of navigating an unfamiliar terrain and the chance to push our physical strength rather than a real love for the sport itself. My family members took to skiing in a fun and fearless manner, like they were born and raised in the mountains. However, I had my ups and downs – just like the peaks and valleys of the sport’s topography. My subsequent ski expeditions were wheedled by the motivating and assuring words of our children: ‘you can do it, Mom’. And, the fact the that the German autobahns delivered us to the foot of the Austrian Alps faster than a Windows10 software update serves a bonus to go back every year.
From the exasperating virgin trip a few years ago to the first unassisted and self-assured downhill, the sport developed in distinct stages for me.