By Ratnadip Choudhury
For the 18 years that James Daimary entertained people as the lead joker of the Moonlight Circus in Assam, he hated it. Daimary was a dwarf working as a circus clown because he had no other means to earn a living. Cut to the present, Daimary still entertains people, no longer as a clown, but an actor on stage. Not only him, but 26 other dwarves from all over Assam are benefiting as part of an all-dwarves theatre group, Dapon. Run by Pabitra Rabha (in black), Dapon (which means mirror in Assamese) has given these entertainers a life of dignity besides a source of livelihood. Rabha gave up on a lucrative career in films to do something for the dwarves who, according to him, were castigated by society for no fault of theirs. Graduating from the National School of Drama in 2003, Rabha turned down offers from Bollywood to return to his native Tangla in Udalguri district. “Dwarves are normal people, capable like everyone else,” says Rabha. “All they require is moral support.” The play Kinu Kow (What to say), story of a dwarf’s struggle, has become immensely popular in the state. Rabha now dreams of a model village for dwarves in Tangla, the first of its kind in Assam and perhaps the entire country.
Rabha can be contacted at +91 94353 84971