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Pabitra Rabha and his troupe

Abdul Gani
If one was a shop-keeper while another was a daily-wage earner then there was a school teacher but their life was a never a smooth. They had to live in society with their heads down. They hardly had an opportunity to laugh their hearts out but the time is changing.   

They are Maria, Bubu, Max, Ganesh, Akshay and their friends. They had undergone tough time while living their lives because of their short physical structure. “I was living under tremendous pressure and frustration. At every step of our life we were reminded that we were not just like any other people in the society,” rued one.   
Dapon - the Mirror, an amateur theatre group under the leadership of Pabitra Rabha, an NSD alumnus, has been able to bring back the smiles to the faces of these small people. After undergoing training for months a group of 27 dwarf people have started a mission to tell the people the stories of pain.  

“I'm really feeling good. I can not express my feelings,” said Akshay Das of Barama after enacting in a play 'Kino Kou' (What can I say) at Rabindra Bhaban in the city recently as Ganesh Swargiary his co-actor looks on.  
The world for these people now seemed to be widening up. “Earlier we were very sad and thought that only I was such person but after coming to the camp I was surprised to see lot of people like me. It felt nice as I thought I have got partners to share my feelings. Today we do not feel any different,” Das who used to deal in vegetables at his village before joining the group said thanking their mentor Pabitra Rabha for his effort to bring back their lost smiles.  

These people who are from every across the state now so engrossed with their job at hand that they do not want to get back to their earlier life. “I want to continue doing this (drama) and spreading the message that we are not different than others in stead of going back to my earlier days,” said Ranjit Das, once a school teacher who often became a laughing stock by his students for his short stature.  

“We would never get back. Here we are the happiest people acting, dancing and singing together,” said Ranjan Baishya.  

Meanwhile, popular actor Siddhartha Mukherjee, who is also a part of the mission, is also a happy man working with these people.  

“The time I'm spending with them will be memorable for ever. They are wonderful people and fantastic actors as well. I'm sure they will give a tough time for many established actors,” Mukherjee said adding that he maintains a close relation with these people.  

“I face same thing as they do for my size,” he said.   

After performing at the Rabindra Bhaban, the troupe would perform at various places across the country.   

“Over the years, as I have grown up, I have noticed these people are the victims of negligence and humiliation in the society without any fault of their faults. It's very unfortunate that they feel shy to even come out of their home, in spite of being equally talented, like any other normal people,” said Pabitra Rabha.   

“We want to go to every nook and corner of the earth carrying the message of their pain and trauma. We will stage plays portraying their plight in day to day life,” Rabha added.  

Abdul Gani is based in Guwahati.  

May 2011