I was born in the small but beautiful mountain village of Nakuri near Uttarkashi in Garhwal, with the gurgling, playful Bhagirathi river owing nearby. My parents were a hard-working and extremely self-contained couple. Even though our family was poor, barely managing the essentials my father taught us how to live and maintain dignity and selfrespect – the most treasured family value till today. At the same time my parents also practised the creed, "Kindness is the essence of all religion." The were large-hearted, inviting village folk passing by to have tea at our home, and gave grain to the sadhus and pandits who came to the house. This characteristic has been ingrained in me so deeply that I am able to reach out to others and make a difference in their lives – whether it is in my home, in society or at the workplace. I was the third child in the family – girl, boy, girl, girl and boy in that order – and quite a rebel. I developed a tendency to ask questions and was not satised with the customary way of life for a girl-child. When I found my elder brother, Bachchan, encouraging our youngest brother, Raju, to make up mountaineering I thought, why not me? I found that my brothers were always getting preferential treatment and all opportunities and options were open to them. This made me even more determined to not only do what the boys were doing, but to do it better. The general thinking of mountain people was that mountaineering as a sport was not for them. They considered themselves to be born mountaineers as they had to go up and down mountain slopes for their daily livelihood and even for routine work. On the other hand, as a student, I would look curiously at foreign backpackers passing by my village and wonder where they were going. I would even invite them to my house and talk to them to learn more about their travels. The full signicance of this came to me later when I started working. The foreigners took the trouble to come all the way to the Himalayas in order to educate themselves on social, cultural and scientic aspects of mountaineering, as well as to seek peace in nature's gigantic scheme of things.
Answer the following questions :
(a) What does the author tell us about the nancial condition of her parents?
(b) What is the most treasured value of the author's family?
(c) Give an example to show that the author's parents were very hospitable.
(d) What kind of girl was the author?
(e) How do you know that the author's parents discriminated between sons and daughters?
(f) Why do the mountain people consider themselves to be born mountaineers?
(g) Why would the author invite foreign mountaineers to her house?