Text by: Laboni Pradhan
First Officer at SITA AIR
A pilot, a make-up artist and a weightlifter, Bipashi Tuladhar is an epitome of versatility. Born into a middle class family that doesn’t believe in discrimination and treats sons and daughters the same, she was raised by a very supportive father. He always wanted her to achieve anything she aimed for and Bipashi has always been intrigued by challenges. Unlike many girls of her age, her childhood dream was to become a pilot and fly a plane; the daring factor was the main attraction.
As a young girl, Bipashi had a low self esteem and was very self conscious due to her issues with her big body frame, thick curly hair and her slightly darker skin compared to her cousins. After she completed her high school she got enrolled into Delta Qualiflight Academy of Flying located in Texas, USA. It was during this time in the USA when Bipashi gradually started to become comfortable in her own body type after being surrounded by confident body positive people and a crowd who appreciated different sizes. In 2010, she completed her pilot training, got her Commercial Pilot’s License and returned to Nepal.
Unfortunately, due to the saturation of pilots in the aviation sector at that time, Bipashi couldn’t get a job that she had been wanting for a very long time. Even though she was dejected by the situation, she decided not to stay idle and started working as a middle school teacher alongside being involved in her family business. That was also the time when she started a career as a make-up artist. Make up has always been her hobby. She loved make up as a child and she was able to practice the art more while she was in the USA due to the affordable access to good quality make up products. Her hobby turned into a profession for her after she started putting make up videos on Facebook and was asked by a friend of her cousin to do her bridal make up. After her breakthrough as a makeup artist, she started working on bridal makeovers, cover shoots and advertisement campaigns.
Fortunately, in 2016, Bipashi got an opportunity to retrain as a pilot in Nepal and finally in 2018, she started her career as a professional pilot at SITA AIR. After a few years of waiting, now, Bipashi is a First Officer flying to different exotic STOL sector of Nepal like Lukla, Rara, Bajura and Simikot.
When asked about her most favourite part of flying she said, “First of all it’s my dream come true. And the other best part is that I get to experience nature in a different way. The things you get to see through the cockpit is amazing. Often I get to see the double rainbows or unusual cloud formations and they are breathtaking.”
She admits that sometimes flying is challenging and often due to her hectic schedule flying to and fro, she doesn’t get to spend much time with her family. She, also, hasn’t been able to give time to her professional makeup sector. Even with these inconveniences, she never feels like complaining as she feels lucky that she is getting to do something she always desired.
Bipashi is a gold medal winner! weight lifter too. She may have started weightlifting as a measure to lose weight but with time it has become her stress reliever and a way to boost her self confidence. A dance lover, she loves doing Zumba as it incorporates both fitness and dance. She is also actively working to empower women through ‘Zonta International’. Zonta International has committed US One million Dollars to UN Women to create sustainable foundations for addressing the nexus between human trafficking and foreign labor migration of women and girls in Nepal.
The multi - skilled young achiever says, “Stop trying to impress other people. Listen to yourself over others. Only when you stop doing things to please other people, you will be happy and you will start loving yourself.”