Shortest Man

Monday, September 10, 2007

Shortest Man

The Shortest Man

Gul Mohammed, who was the shortest man in the world at 22.5in (57cm), died at the age of 40 in 1997. He was a familiar figure in the fetid alleys of old Delhi, dodging the bullock carts, rickshaws and crowds who were for ever treading on him. He felt at home among the beggars, eunuchs and saddhus of this largely Muslim quarter of town.
He was to short to leap across the open sewers and gullies and was carried across these obstacles by whoever was at hand. He chain-smoked all his life and died in hospital after a long struggle with asthma and bronchitis.

He was born on 15 February 1957, and his twin brother Zahoor died when he was four. Gul (meaning flower in Urdu) never overcame a lifelong dislike of children, who mocked and bullied him, forcing him to give up school and begin scratching a living selling sweet-meats. Children often stole from him, but they were too fast to catch and too big to reprimand. He often talked to the eunuchs about his dreams - such as marrying a tall actress - because they never laughed at him.

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