Trekker, Runner and much more – Manjiri Latey


Hello, Superwoman

She has been trekking for 28+ years. She has been running for more than 10 years now. She communicates with animals and nature. She has successfully completed a solo expedition in the Welsh mountain range.

She is Manjiri Latey our very own Punekar, one with boundless energy and passion.

It was a typical Tuesday morning and I was extremely excited to meet her. We connected instantly. Our conversation lasted about 2 hours over Spanish omelette and a cottage cheese akuri. For once it was not the food at German Bakery but the pace at which our conversation was going, that kept me wanting for more (approximately 8 mins / subject). I felt like this little girl lost in la la land where I wanted to talk, ask and hear about this’s and that’s. All of this making sure that neither of us lost any chain of our thought. Big task and what is even bigger is conveying all that through this article…Manjiri I hope I have done justice to the person that you are.

Trekker Girl


From being born to mountaineering parents and married to a naturalist, Manjiri is the quintessential outdoor person. She believes that if you have the urge to travel, all you need are some bare essentials and the camp is your luxury hotel.

Trekking has been a “way of life” for Manjiri. She has trekked around northern states from J&K, through Himachal & Uttarakhand to the hills of Arunachal and Nagaland. Her star treks have been the Everest Base Camp (EBC), Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) both in Nepal and Sandhakpu in Sikkim.

Just as my way of life revolves around which restaurant to go today, which new club to party at; for her its “come on let’s trek!”. Her avoid list includes red meat, fried food and sugar, she drinks a pint of beer once a month and does not party.

The Runner


Ask her all about her why’s and how’s of running, pat comes the reply “Running for me is NOT a means to shed weight”. She has never been bothered by her weight, ever. During the Goa River Marathon a lady sprinted up to Manjiri and breathlessly exclaimed, “Hey with a physique like yours you run rather well”.

She began running 10 years ago with friends in Koregaon Park and Kalyani Nagar in Pune. She stayed consistent with running and soon moved to running half marathons (21km). So far she has run well over 20 half marathons. Running to her is not a RACE and hence she doesn’t bother about the PACE . It is easy to spot her running solo in the Pune University campus. She runs 3–4 times a week, cycles or hikes twice a week and hits the gym a minimum of 3 times a week. Doesn’t add up? More than one activity a day will.

Long time runners, especially distance runners, are known to have suffered some injury sometime. Manjiri tells me that she has been advised against any major physical activity. She has been termed as one with Congenital hip which means a skewed posture and a skewed spine. But what surprises me is her next sentence à “because I WANT to run, I take care of the other stuff; you definitely have to listen to your doctor but you MUST listen to your body too. For me I listen to the latter. Even though I have a congenital hip, I run as long as and as much as I can; for WANTING to run makes ME communicate BETTER with my BODY”.

Event Management

Manjiri loves organizing events, be it a local running event, a triathlon or outdoor tours for groups. She is an active member of the major sports groups in Pune and much sought after for advice and help.

This is probably an extension of her innate people skills. Add modesty to her traits and she is a friend much loved and clasped on to.

Manjiri’s Philosophy

Manjiri’s equation is simple; running is MEDITATIVE. “If you enjoy doing something, do it. And while you are at it you are meditating”.

She believes that while you run you surrender to your body in a unique way. The first few kilometers you are aware of the speed, the motion you are in, and the fact that your body is out of its comfort zone. You push yourself through this and reach a point where even if you have the urge to stop your body is set into a rhythm and unknowingly your mind and heart surrender to the “thak thak thak” of your body. That’s what sportspersons call “being in the zone”.


Monkeying around

Each one of us has this unsaid, unrecognized capability to do what we want to do. What sets us apart is the intensity and enthusiasm. Manjiri loves what she does and it clearly reflects in her demeanor. As we talk and laugh about a number of things, I realize that we seemed to have similar thoughts on how one can be happy status quo and how utterly important it is to BELIEVE in your inner self.

At this, I quietly look down eat a few pieces of my omelette and as I chew I try to digest every bit of what she just shot at me. I feel a sense of happiness for being there, look up thank God and tell her “Manjiri, you Rock!”

Each one of us has this unsaid, unrecognized capability to do what we want to do. What sets us apart is the intensity and enthusiasm. Manjiri loves what she does and it clearly reflects in her demeanor.

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23 Responses

  1. Aparna prabhudesai says:

    Shibani beautifully written. Manjiri is truly an awesome human being and I always say I’m lucky that I know her.
    Thank you for sharing

  2. Roshan Jha says:

    Beautifully penned down Shibani! Yes, Ms. Latey is a super girl with a very big Heart. She is a blessing! Glad to know her personally.

    Truly, she is an extremely rare species of Human who knows what humanity is all about. 🙂

  3. Mitali Upadhye says:

    Shibani nicely penned ..and still there is so much to this woman that words can’t capture.
    In total awe of this woman’s love for life!!
    Truly inspiring!!
    Latte Rocking !!

    • shibani says:

      Absolutely agree mitali… there is much much more to manjiri… should probably have a manjiri part 2 blog ☺☺

  4. Manisha says:

    Wow Shibani lovely piece. Kudos Ms. Latey hope to meet u soon

  5. Shibani! Thank you for making me look this good!! :p you have done a splendid job and i look forward to interviewing you soon!!:)

    • shibani says:

      Hmmm… very happy that u liked it manjiri… but thats exactly how we all know u ☺ and thats who you are….
      Would love for the latter to happen too….

  6. Pooja says:

    Wow!!! Beautifully written. Manjiri is truly an inspiring person. I have known her since our college days. An amazing Individual and friend. Way to go girl! Keep rocking!!!!!!

  7. Sugandha Shah says:

    Well written article where you could feel the enthusisam vibes. I have just met her hi/hello types at running event but what you could feel the zest for life in those brief interactions too.

  8. Manjiri your story is very inspiring…wish to meet you are multitasking and multitalented person…lucky to read blog..shibani u have written this blog nicely..

  9. Taru Mateti says:

    Very well-written! Manjiri truly is one of the most versatile and inspiring people I know! A very warm and cheerful person too! Full of life!

  10. Very well said about Manjiri. I know her since many years may be more than 14 yrs. She is just a great person.

  11. Shalini says:

    Hey Shibani I never knew that you are that good a writer. Very well written and each word has been used so appropriately used. It felt that the interview was going on live. Though I don’t know Manjiri personally but it was nice and quiet inspiring reading about her.

  12. I’m so fortunate to have Manjiri as a friend. it makes me the richest man alive!She makes this world a wonderful place. There is so much to this super woman that words will never capture. Keep on keeping on and inspiring all of us. extremely well written article.