Friday, January 11, 2008

``its a heaven down there''

tribute to the first man to touch the sky, standing on top of the world, yet dying a modest man

- sir edmund hillary, the man, the mist and icy mountains loved to take care of for over fifty years -

For years, the world thought tensing was the first one to climb the highest peak in this known world. The sherpa, for whom the himalayan peaks were his backyard, showed the way. Till this date, the defining moment in adventure sports is the moment when tensing and hillary conquered the peak for the first time fifty years ago.

The first photograph taken on top of that icy peak showed the short man with a flag. Naturally, people thought that he was the first one to set foot on top of the world. Only years later, hillary, with his modesty, told the climbers that it was actually he who reached there first. ``The last 500 mts was the toughest climb. I decided to take it. Tensing and others followed,'' he recalled.

Early this morning, he died. with all that modesty at a hospital near his home in new zeland. his countrymen called him their greatest son. Not because of he climbed everest, ten other himalayan peaks, and innumerable others. ``He was the humblest,'' said a lady, on mike in a street corner.

of that glorious moment, he had said: ``We felt quite satisfied. Even surprised.'' In the lesser known kingdom of the sherpas, the small community mourned the loss of their saviour. hillary had built two dozen schools and two hospitals for the community, guiding the world climbers to the upper reaches of the snowy kingdom.

as the world condoles his death, the flags fly at half-mast in antartica, the artic mourns the departure of a dear one deeply, and the snowy peaks of the himalayas keep shedding tears, slowly in silence and the icy winds along the peaks whisper the world the bravery of a man. the deep blue sky, the frozen snow, the peaks in penance all stand still. in salute of a friendship.

those touching the sky in the years to come might walk through two friends, wearing the snow, jumping the peaks effortlessly.

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Stories From The Soul Town

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