The inspiring story of world's shortest man with big dreams
Dangi said he was awestruck at the beauty of the Mumbai airport, and looked forward to a longer stay in future. This is his first trip to India.mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2015 01:22 IST
At 21.5 inches (approximately 1 foot, 7 inches) in height, life for Nepalese resident Chandra Bahadur Dangi had always been a struggle. Barely making a living out of making bamboo baskets and placements, Dangi had never stepped out of his isolated Nepali village of Reemkholi in Dang district.
But this changed when he was discovered by the Guinness World Records team. It was then that Dangi, now 75, travelled 540 kms to the country's capital Kathmandu.
In February 2012, he was officially declared the shortest man in the world -- beating Junrey Balawing of the Philippines who is 5.3cm taller.
The seventh sibling of a family of six brothers and two sisters (all of whom are normal in height), Dangi has since travelled across eight countries, including the UK and Australia, for events where he often shares stage with record holders in various categories.
On Wednesday, he visited Mumbai for a brief stopover, before flying to the South Pacific island of Samoa.
Dangi said he was awestruck at the beauty of the Mumbai airport, and looked forward to a longer stay in future. This is his first trip to India.
Speaking to visitors and the media during a formal interaction at Rambo Circus's office in Govandi he said, "I want to visit every part of the world, and through the award, I am getting the opportunity."
"But on the flip side, the undue attention at the airports, sometimes, gets on my nerves," he added.
As Dangi understands and speaks only Nepali, his interactions were diligently translated by his nephew, Dolak Dangi who manages most of his uncle's international trips. He was also instrumental in introducing Dangi to the Guinness team.
While Dangi's condition has never been diagnosed (he claims he has never taken any medication), he says his age surprises people. Short people are said to have a shorter lifespan.
"The secret to my health is my frugal diet. Only two spoons of rice for each of the three daily meals, sometimes accompanied by a short piece of chicken or fish," said Dangi, who weighs 14.5kg.
The owner of Rambo Circus Surjit Dilip, who arranged the stop-over in association with 'The magic Circus of Somoa', vouched for his strict diet regime too.
"He denied ice-cream, and took only few sips of water. His discipline is amazing," said the host. "Unlike other record holders who are aware of the benefits, Dangi is still very naïve. Our purpose was to monetarily help him."
As for Dangi, his life's u-turns are complete wonder as his stature was always a burden and fitting in the normal world was an unforgiving challenge to this new-found fame.