June 12, 2023
SINGAPORE – When she was in the midst of preparing to stage her own musical production in April, Madam Sushma Soma was told by her husband that she was climbing Olympus Mons, while he was scaling Mount Everest.
When she asked Mr Shrinivas Sainis Dattatraya why her challenge could not be compared to the world’s tallest mountain, the 39-year-old told her to do a Google search.
It was then that she learnt about the Martian volcano, which is three times the height of the Himalayan peak – something she recounted in an Instagram post on Sunday paying tribute to her husband, who went missing on May 19.
“Every weekend, Shri would set off at 7am to walk with his 15kg to 20kg backpack. He’d come back home only at 4pm,” she said, adding that he would trek at several locations, including MacRitchie Reservoir, the Rail Corridor and Bukit Timah Hill.
“Through him, I realised Singapore was more than just a glitzy concrete jungle. He opened my eyes to her rainforests and waterways that were hidden from plain sight.”
The 36-year-old musician said she revisited some of his usual haunts during the past week with people who were close to the couple, and acknowledged that she had yet to celebrate his achievement when he summited Mount Everest – an “incredible feat”.
Mr Shrinivas, who worked for real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, had left for Mount Everest on April 1, but never made it down.
On May 19, after he summited the Himalayan mountain, he told his wife through a message from his satellite phone that he had come down with high-altitude cerebral oedema.
While the two Sherpas and another person in the group made it down the mountain, Mr Shrinivas did not.
And despite the efforts of the search and rescue team, he still could not be found, Madam Sushma had said on May 27, with Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs extending its condolences to his family that same day.
She said in her latest post: “The tallest point in Singapore on Bukit Timah Hill is just a tiny speck next to where he stood, but it’s pregnant with all his memories for me.
“Shri, this one’s for you. There will never be another you.”