Life is unpredictable and how you deal with calamities, defines who you are. Dealing with such odds, the only constant for Ashok Munne was the word “hope”. From living a normal life to meeting with an accident that changed everything to rising from the ashes like a phoenix, Munne’s journey has been inspirational. While a Bollywood film, Chhalang, is on the cards to document his journey, here’s getting up close with the man himself.

The 32-year-old from Nagpur has only one target on his mind and that is to climb Mount Everest. While he fell a few metres short in his first attempt, he is certain that he will achieve the feat in his next attempt. “I tried to climb Mount Everest last year from the China side but fell short of 350 metres. I had climbed 8,500 metres but the conditions became extremely difficult to survive and because of that we had to return,” said Munne.

Ashok Munne

Ashok Munne at Mount Everest

“This year, I will try climbing Everest from the Nepal side. I have learned paragliding both elementary pilot and club pilot courses. I aspire to jump from the peak and paraglide to the base camp,” he added.

Life before the accident

“I was physically fit before I met with an accident on February 3rd, 2008. I didn’t have enough money to be treated in a private hospital so I was in a government hospital. After 2 wrong operations on my leg, I chose not to be further treated in the hospital and came home. I had lost 25kgs and life was coming to an end. I used to be a leader during my college life and suddenly I didn’t have friends anymore.”

“My relatives used to pass comments like, “He should be given a bowl and left to beg.” I was deeply hurt by such comments and wanted to do something despite being handicapped. Thanks to the NGO, Indradhanu, I was treated in a private hospital in Pune. At that time Krushnaa Patil had achieved the feat of being the youngest Indian woman to climb Mount Everest in 2009. She was just 19 when she did it and thanks to her, I had my target.”

Conquering heights

“I started learning how to climb mountains from YouTube videos as no one came to help me. Thanks to Sudhir Moharir of Outward Bound Bharat, my life changed. I was physically very weak but seeing my determination, they helped me train free of cost. In 2012, November, I climbed Mera Peak. I was coughing blood due to extreme conditions but I continued with the expedition. Because of me, 2 Americans also completed the course. They thanked me for motivating them and clicked a picture with me and the Indian flag. The 9-day journey was completed in 3 days due to bad conditions. In 2013, I completed the Ladakh Ride and have been training for Mount Everest.”

Ashok Munne, Mera Peak

Ashok Munne on his expedition to Mera Peak

WATCH: A glimpse from Ashok Munne’s Ladakh Ride


(Video Courtesy: YouTube.com/Ashok Munne)

Fitness regime

“I get up at 5 am in the morning and do meditation for 10-15 minutes. Then I do Pranayama for 15-20 minutes. After that, I cycle my way to Ambajhari lake. I run 5kms around the lake, swim the across the 2km lake and then cycle my way back. In terms of nutrition, I eat homemade food, fruits, and salads. I avoid cold drinks and fast food.”

  •  (Cover Video Courtesy: Ashok Munne)