Saturday, December 09, 2006
Meeting the Tallest Nepali
Like all other things, height is also relative. I realised how short I was (5 feet 6 inches) when I met Nepal's tallest man Rajan Adhikari (7 feet 3 inches) last week. I was tracking him for a profile that appeared in last week's Nepal Weekly Magazine.
That day, I had a rare visitor in room: my sister and her husband. They had come all the way from Jhapa. But, breaking the rules of hospitality, I took meal ahead of them and rushed to meet Rajan. Job beckoned even on Saturday, my day-off. but some stories are so tempting--and this surely was one.
Rajan was waiting for me in the entrance of our office (Kantipur Complex) in Tinkune, Kathmandu. Being Saturday, there was no one to throw the curious glances on this extraordinarily tall man. So, I asked him everything I wanted to. He told me how he had to discover (serendipity!) that he was the tallest Nepali.
In fact, not Rajan himself but a doctor at Amda Hosptail, Damak, Jhapa found out that this man was one of the tallest human beings he has seen so far. Rajan was at the hospital to attend to his sick father.
Rajan hails from Bayarban VDC Ward No: 7, Morang in southeastern Nepal. His family is a subsistence farmer. But, at the moment, Rajan is in Kathmandu to garner support for his mission. He is all set to embark on a world motorcycle tour. In course of his tour, he wants to fulfill his long-nurtured dream: meeting the tallest man on earth, Xi Shun (7 feet 8 inches).
While googling, I found a blog entry on Xi who looks suave and smiling. Rajan hardly smiled during an hour long photo session in the downtown Kathmandu. Photojournalist Bikash Karki and I took him to Kathmandu Durbar square. On the way, he posed in front of Singhadarbar with traffic police.
In Basantapur, he baffled many visitors. People fished out their photo enabled mobile sets and digicams to take a snap or two. I also had to act as a photographer for few enthusiasts.
For a person of such towering height, you may think his weight doesn't matter. But, no. He says he was 100 kg till few months back but is now 80 kg. During the preparation for the world tour, he lost twenty kg. Not a bad news for those who want to look slim. In Kathmandu, he makes rounds of Ministries, NGO offices etc to garner sponsorship for his world tour. He hopes to begin it on early February. He is married to a woman of five feet one inch height and has a six-year-old daughter. Best of luck for your world tour, tall man!
Pic courtesy: Bikash Karki