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Reach for the Top Summary in English
Reach for the Top Summary Part 1 in English
Santosh Yadav, the only woman in the world to have scaled Mt. Everest twice, was bom in an affluent landowning family of Joniyawas, a small village of Rewari District, Haryana. Although Santosh was bom in a conservative society, where sons are preferred over the daughters, she was welcomed in the family as she was the sixth child and the only sister to five elder brothers. When her mother was expecting a baby, a holy man visited and blessed her with giving birth to a son. But to everyone’s surprise her grandmother said that she wanted a girl. The girl was bom and was named Santosh which means contentment.
From the beginning, Santosh was a bit of a rebel right and defied conventions. She neither liked to wear traditional dresses nor followed the traditional course of life. Though Santosh attended the local village school for her early education, she decided to fight the system when the right moment arrived. And the right moment came when she turned sixteen. Most of the girls in her village used to get married at sixteen. When Santosh’s parents also put pressure on her to do the same, rather than succumbing to parental pressure to get married early, she insisted on pursuing her studies. Her parents had to give in to her desire to study at a high school in Delhi, followed by higher education at Maharani College, Jaipur.
In Jaipur, she lived in Kasturba Hostel and could see the Aravalli hills from her room. Attracted by the villagers climbing these hills, one day she decided to check the route herself. There she met a few mountaineers, who allowed her to join them and encouraged her to take to mountaineering.
There was no looking back for this determined young girl after that. Before completing her college degree, Santosh Yadav got herself enrolled at Uttarkashi’s Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. As soon as she completed her last semester in Jaipur, she had to rush straight to the Institute and had no time to visit home. So, she wrote her father a letter apologizing for not having sought his permission before joining the Institute.
During this training, she went for an expedition each year. Her climbing skills matured rapidly. Also, she developed a remarkable resistance to cold and the altitude. Endowed with an iron will, physical endurance and an amazing mental toughness, she proved herself repeatedly. In 1992, after training for four years, she became the youngest woman in the world to conquer Mt. Everest at the age of 22. Her physical and mental strength impressed her seniors, while her
team spirit and concern for others endeared her to her fellow climbers. Santosh provided special care to a fellow climber in critical condition at South Col., who unfortunately could not be saved. However, she managed to save Mohan Singh, who too was in distress, by sharing her oxygen with him.
In less than a year of scaling Everest she got a second invitation from an Indo-Nepalese Women’s Expedition to repeat the feat. She was successful in scaling Mt. Everest once again. While unfurling the tricolour on top of the world, Santosh experienced indescribable pride as an Indian. It was truly a spiritual moment for her. Showing exceptional concern for the environment, she collected and brought down about 500kg of garbage from the Himalayas. The government of India honoured her with Padmashri for her unparalleled mountaineering feats.
Reach for the Top Summary Part 2 in English
Reach for the Top (Part II) briefly narrates the life and career of Maria Sharapova, one of the world’s best-known tennis stars. Behind her ready smile, disarming manner and glamorous attire lies the hard work and sacrifice that enabled Maria Sharapova to achieve the world number one position in women’s tennis on 22 August 2005. Poised beyond her years, the Siberian bom teenager took just four years as a professional to reach the pinnacle. However, the rapid ascent in a fiercely competitive world began nine years before with a level of sacrifice few children would be prepared to endure. Little Maria had not yet celebrated her tenth birthday when her father,
Yuri, brought her to the US to be trained in tennis. Her mother Yelena could not accompany her due to visa restrictions. In the US she missed her mother badly; her father, too, was working as much as he could to pary for her tennis-training, so, she couldn’t see him either. But she knew that the sacrifice was an inevitable price to pay for her big aspirations.
Apart from the pangs of separation from the mother, the child also suffered harassment from her inconsiderate fellow trainees, who were older in age. At the training academy, Maria would go to bed at 8 pm as she was very young. Her fellow trainees, who were older, would return at 11 pm and wake her up and make her tidy the room. Instead of letting this upset her, Maria drew mental strength and determination from this bullying. This mental toughness gradually became a trait of her personality that helped her both as a person and as a sportswoman.
If proved to be instrumental in helping her to reach the zenith of glory in the world of tennis. She bagged the women’s singles crown at Wimbledon in 2004 and became the number one tennis player in the world. However, Maria is not sentimental about her journey and the sacrifices she has had to make to achieve her goal. She says, “I am very, very competitive. I work hard at what I do. It’s my job.”
Hard work, dedication and mental courage paved the way for Sharapova’s rapid rise to success.
Imbued with patriotic sentiments, she feels proud to be a Russian. Though grateful to the US for bringing out the best in her, she would like to represent her own country Russia at the Olympics.
Although Maria is fond of fashion, singing and dancing, she focuses all her attention on tennis. She considers tennis as both a business and a sport, which has poured riches in her life. However, her main aim is to shine as a tennis player. It is this aspiration that constantly governs her mind and motivates her for ceaseless efforts.