There are dozens of tea-sellers in the captital's Hatijheel area, but one is different from the others. Physically different in appearance from birth, his customers usually call him ‘mama’ (uncle). His name is Mahabub Alam.
Mahabub was born with dwarfism. His life was never easy. His family lost their home to river erosion in Bhola. And his stunted growth could have been a hindrance to a normal way of life. But nothing could stop him from going ahead. He keeps head high, defying all odds.
“Almost 15 years ago my family had lost home due to river erosion. Then I came to Dhaka in search of my future.”
Mahabub first opened a tea stall at the Mahanagar Project area along Hatirjheel. But, he later had to shut down his business as it wasn't faring well. Meanwhile, the Hatijheel renovation project unrolled and he decided to sell tea in the area. That changed his fortune.
Presently Mahabub sells his products in and around Hatirjheel.
He never let up the pace of his life. He got married and he has now two children. The four-member family runs on his hard-earned money. He also sends home to his parents and rest of the family in the village. This is the way he has built his own world.
Mahabub said he makes a Tk 200 to Tk 300 profit every day from sales totalling around Tk 1500-2000. He lives with his wife and two children in a tiny one-room tin-shed in Modhubagh area.
“Sometimes people make fun of me because of my size, but it doesn't matter to me,” Mahabub said.
When asked about how he feels about this, he replied, “I have no regrets in life and I am happy with the way the Creator has made me. There is nothing to be sad about.”