A doc who climbed Kilimanjaro

Stressed by her hectic lifestyle, this doctor took a break to tackle her physical and mental challenges

Anindita Bhateja, a general physician at Sita Bhateja Specialty Hospital, says she became a doctor as she was “fascinated” with her father and grandfather, also doctors. “As a child, I would go with them to their clinics and watch them diagnose problems without many investigations. They would listen to their patients,” recalls Anindita, who became a doctor in 1999. Her passion for adventure started in 2009, after childbirth, when she realised she was a 100 kilos! “I felt so unhealthy. How could I treat my patients? So I started taking off on long walks. Then got into a run and got hooked on to it and started participating in marathons,” she adds.

Soon, the doctor found herself addicted to walking and running. Now she is in the news as she is just back from climbing Kilimanjaro. The 46-year-old Anindita says the best part of running or walking is the time she gets to connect to herself. “Being a doctor is stressful. Sometimes you get affected by your patients’ pains and suffering. There are days when I walk from Bangalore Club to BIAL and then take a bus back.”

Having tackled her fitness and weight problem, Anindita wanted to face her fear of heights. She zeroed in on Kilimanjaro as “it is the only stable, free-standing mountain. The weather is not as unpredictable as in the Himalayas. You don’t need mountaineering skills to climb this mountain. You need trekking poles and a lot of mental strength to climb this 19,350 feet high mountain.”

Her first attempt was in January this year, she couldn’t complete the climb. So she returned recently and completed it. “It takes six to seven days to climb this mountain. It was difficult and amazing at the same time. The climb was an eye opener for me as it calmed me when I was in the midst of nature. You also learn to value the comfort you have back home. When you get back you are thankful for what you have rather than complain about life that you see around you, including the traffic. People there give you their best without expecting anything in return. They are always smiling and caring for others. This changed the way I looked at life.”

Now she encourages all her patients to walk, run or climb. Her love for Kilimanjaro has led her to start Afrikan Adventures with professional mountaineers, Prosper Peter Malando and Frank Jumbe. For more you can log on to afrikan-adventure.com

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