GUWAHATI, March 11 � March 10 would be a memorable day in the lives of Rangkhap Boro and many of his friends as they came to the gateway to the North East for the first time, had lunch in a sleek restaurant, visited sites of tourist interest and even enjoyed a play at Rabindra Bhawan.
Though Guwahatians threw curious glances but had the courtesy not to discomfort them, Rangkhap and the rest of the group all of whom had heights ranging between one-and-a-half foot to three foot ignored those looks and really felt at home in the dust and smoke filled capital city.
�I am feeling on cloud nine. After a long time I am so happy,� said Rangkhap who was sitting next to this reporter in the jeep driven by Pabitra Rabha, the young National School of Drama (NSD) graduate who made it possible for people like Rangkhap to hold their head high by involving them in a month-long workshop.
Rangkhap could read up to class IV only, as the situation at school was not in his favour. He left school as he could not bear the taunting of his classmates any more. He is earning his living now by working as a daily-wage labourer.
Like other people of normal height, Rangkhap too has a dream of becoming a family man. �When I will get married and have children, I will never allow my children to leave school even if their friends jeer at them. Education is very important in life,� says the 30-year-old Rangkhap who is two-and-a-half foot.
The importance of education is being realized by Akshay Das too who is not taller than two foot. This 50-year-old man has a son and daughter of normal height and all the dreams of Das revolve around them.
�My son will appear in the HSLC exam next year and I will work twice as hard to give him higher education,� he said. He has been looking after his family by working in circus, dhulia party and selling vegetables.
In the prime of their lives, Nayan Daimary, Sibirina Daimary and Torasona Mahilary, they all have eyes that speak about their special dreams. Three-foot-tall Nayan is in love with a girl of normal height. During his moments of relaxation his ears are glued to the cell phone that acts the bridge of connection between him and his beloved.
�I am planning my marriage,� said Nayan. Cupid�s arrow touches all people no matter what their height or social status is.
�Still there is discrimination. Though we think and act like people of normal height, we are looked upon as circus objects,� Sibirina voiced her angst while taking lunch.
The three-foot-tall Sibirina is an Anganwadi worker. She enjoys dancing, fishing and sewing. A believer in fate, she is waiting for the right man to sweep her off her feet. She is tormented by the same worries of her sex � the complex issues of relationships and breakups. She is 30-years old.
On the other hand, the HS-pass 30-year-old Torasona Mohilary who owns a shop is doing her best to expand her business. She likes to watch Assamese and Bodo films and is more of a who-cares-about-guys kind of girl.
�Right now I am focusing on my business,� she said.
Altogether twenty-four short-statured men and women of different age made it to Guwahati and left with memories to last a life time.