At 56 centimetres tall, Chandra Bahadur Dangi comes up to my knee. If experts from the Guinness World Records confirm his height, he will be declared the shortest man ever measured.
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Chandra Bahadur Dangi, a 72-year-old Nepali who claims to be the world's shortest man at 56 centimetres in height, sits next to a child in Jhapa district, southeastern Nepal. AFP
Fame beckons for world’s ‘new shortest man’ in Nepal
LAUGHED at in freak shows and spurned by the women he admired from afar, Chandra Bahadur Dangi has always seen his tiny stature as a curse.
But the 72-year-old Nepali, who claims to stand at just 56 centimetres, is on the brink of life change as significant as a lottery win as experts prepare to test his claim to be the shortest man in history.
Until now, Junrey Balawing from the Philippines has held the title of the world's smallest living man with a height of 59.93 cm.
Guinness World Records experts confirmed last week they are to travel to Mr Dangi's village in the impoverished southwestern valleys of Dang district to measure the pensioner, who says he weighs just 12 kilos.
If his measurements prove correct, he would eclipse Mr Balawing but would also be the shortest human adult ever documented, taking the accolade from India's Gul Mohammed, who was measured at 57cm before he died in 1997 aged 40.
Mr Dangi said that recognition at the end of his life would be some compensation for years of hardship he has had to endure.
"I think things will be better now. I hope that I will be famous all over the world," Mr Dangi said at a religious festival in Surunga, a town on the banks of the sacred Kankai river 280 kilometres southeast of Kathmandu.
"I want to visit foreign countries and meet people from around the world."
The pensioner, who was orphaned at 12 and has five normal-sized brothers, says he has never experienced romance.
"I was short since my childhood. So, I couldn't find a woman to marry when I was young. Then I just gave up on the idea of marriage. At this old age, I'm not interested in marriage anymore."
The cause of his stunted growth remains a mystery although many holders of the "world's shortest man" crown have suffered from primordial dwarfism, a condition which begins to show signs in the womb.
Mr Dangi says relatives would parade him as a freak at fetes and festivals when he was younger, refusing to share with him any of the cash they earned.
"They would treat me as a toy," he told the Kathmandu-based Republica newspaper.
He was brought to the attention of the world last week after Nepali researchers looking into the history of the Dangi people were introduced to him.
"We walked for several hours and reached his home in Purandhara village. He was living with his 35-year-old nephew and his (nephew's) family," said Mohan Dangi, who led the expedition.
"We invited him to take part in our week-long religious ceremony. Then it occurred to us that he could be the world's shortest man.” AFP
claim – to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it อ้าง
fame – the state of being famous or very well known ชื่อเสียง
beckon – to signal to someone to come towards you ส่งสัญญาณเรียก
freak – a person, an animal, a plant or a thing that is not physically normal มนุษย์ประหลาด, ของประหลาด
spurn – to refuse to accept something, do something, or deal with something; to refuse to accept someone’s love or friendship ปฏิเสธ
admire – to respect somebody for what they are or for what they have done ชมเชย,ยกย่องสรรเสริญ
afar – from a long distance away แต่ไกล, ห่างไกล
stature – a person's height ความสูง (ของร่างกาย)
curse – something that causes harm or evil ต้นเหตุของความหายนะ
brink – almost in a very new, dangerous or exciting situation ริม, ขอบ, ความจวนเจ
significant – large or important enough to have an effect or to be noticed ซึ่งมีความหมาย
title – the position of a winner in a competition ตำแหน่งแชมป์
expert – someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
impoverished – very poor ยากจน
pensioner – a person who is receiving a pension (money received regularly after retirement), especially from the government ผู้รับเงินบำนาญ
eclipse – to make someone or something seem less successful or important, by becoming more successful or important than they are ทำให้ลดความสำคัญลง
document – to record the details of something บันทึกข้อมูล
accolade – praise or an award for an achievement that people admire การได้รับเกียรติ, รางวัล
recognition – public praise and reward for somebody's work or actions, the act of accepting that something exists, is true or is official การยอมรับ
compensation – things that make a bad situation better สิ่งที่ชดเชย
hardship – difficulty ความลำบาก
endure - to suffer something difficult, unpleasant or painful อดทน
bank – a raised area of land along the side of a river ริมฝั่งแม่น้ำ
sacred – considered to be holy ศักดิ์สิทธิ์
orphan – to make a child an orphan (a child whose parents have died) ทำให้เป็นเด็กกำพร้า
stunted – that has not been able to grow or develop as much as it should แกร็น, แคระ
mystery – a quality that makes someone or something difficult to explain, understand, or get information about, especially when it also makes them seem interesting or exciting สิ่งที่ไม่สามารถอธิบายได้, ความแปลกประหลาด
suffer – to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation ประสบความลำบาก
primordial – existing at or from the beginning ในขั้นเริ่มต้น
dwarfism – the medical condition of being a dwarf. People who suffer from this condition are very short and often have short arms and legs สภาพแคระ
womb – the organ in women and female animals in which babies develop before they are born มดลูก
relative – a member of your family ญาติพี่น้อง
parade – to show somebody/something in public so that people can see them/it เดินอวด
fete – an outdoor entertainment at which people can play games to win prizes, buy food and drink, etc, usually arranged to make money for a special purpose วันเฉลิมฉลอง, เทศกาล
cash – money in the form of notes or coins เงินสด
researcher – a person who carriers out a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it นักวิจัย
nephew – a son of your brother or sister, or a son of your husband’s or wife’s brother or sister หลานชาย
expedition – an organized journey with a particular purpose; a short trip that you make when you want or need something การเดินทาง
occur to – to come into your mind ผุดขึ้นในใจ