Sangeeta Bahl, had her first encounter in the professional world, when she was at an age as tender as 16. She began working as a sales girl with a monthly salary of 1,200 Rs whilst studying along side. Talking to her has truly helped us understand the power of hard work. “It’s safe to say, I’ve done a lot of different things in life. I worked in the airline industry for 15 long years and lived in different parts of the Middle East because I was working with Emirates. Somewhere along the way I decided to do my executive MBA at the age of 32, only because I was curious to learn more. Post that, I went to Australia, USA, UK, to do an image consultancy course. After which, I started my own image consultancy firm, which is also the first in India,” says Sangeeta. In case you’re wondering what an Image consultancy firm does – it’s basically a company that helps you build a professional image for yourself that involves, Appearance, Behaviour and Communication along with confidence for your own brand image.
Sangeeta’s list of doing things differently in life doesn’t end here. Mountaineering is passion she discovered at 47 which is also the age she climbed her first peak. “It’s been on my husband’s bucket list to climb a mountain for as long as I can remember. He was turning 50 that year and asked me if I want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with him and that question changed my entire life. I said yes and we started training; that year I climbed my first peak i.e. Mount Kilimanjaro. My idea of leading life has been to never say no to anything. My son was 8 years old at the time, I was 47 myself but nothing came in the way. 4 and a half months later we summited the peak and that’s also when I discovered that this is my passion,” she adds.
After summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, she went to Darjeeling that same year for a holiday. She hoped to enroll herself at a training school. One of the first terms and conditions on the form was to under 40 years to be eligible. However, that didn’t break her will at any cost. Instead, she came back to Delhi, scouted around for a long time and finally found a mentor who had summited the 7 continents and therefore, helped her achieve her own goals. She went through a rigorous training in Manali for 12 days in the snow. Post which, she went onto climb some of the highest peaks around the world. However, when she was climbing Mount Mckinley, with her husband. Amidst the climb, she met with an accident that led to a knee injury and was rescued from the mountain and was immediately sent to surgery. Owing to that, she was asked to not go back to the mountains for another 9 months, which basically threw her off her schedule of climbing the 7 continents. She took into physiotherapy and with her strong will she recovered in less than 6 months and summited a 22847 feet after her knee operation.
The most awaited on her list was the Mount Everest and in 2017 she began her quest for it. However, 51 days into attempting the Everest, she couldn’t go through with it because she got really sick. “Unfortunately I came down because my life was at risk. However, I came down determined than even before. In 2018, I re-attempted the Everest and summited it at 53, which also made me the oldest woman to attempt and complete the Mount Everest. But, honestly, age has nothing to do with the way I think. Very often people wonder, why I do this; and truthfully, words can’t express the sense of fulfillment one can feel on completing a peak,” says Sangeeta. “Having said all of this, I still successfully run my image consultancy firm, I’m a mother as well & I’m a mountaineer. And between all of this, I find my peace,” she adds.
Sangeeta Bahl is truly a woman that inspires us in more ways than one can imagine. She signs off by saying, “I don’t mean to sound preachy, but life is like a mountain and you have to prepare to finish it. If you ever fail, take it from me, work harder and success is yours.”
With a story like hers, always remember, no one can ever tell you, you can’t do something. If you want it, work for it and it’s yours.
Find her at: Instagram
A Success Diary wishes all amazing women like herself a Happy Women’s Day, thank you for always reminding us that nothing is impossible