Lahore: She is different but she is unable to understand that why she has been chosen to be unlike others. “When I was a kid, I used to think that one morning I will wake up tall like my other siblings and my disease will be cured, I will also drive car, go to office and I even dreamed of joining army but it never happened. I wake up with the same height, in fact I used to forget that I was suppose to grow height after waking up and in the night, I had the same thoughts again along with not to forget to wakeup taller”, Sahar laughed while talking to Truth Tracker.
Sahar Saeed 32 is 3 feet 2 inches tall. She is born different and she has accepted this but still there are times when she regrets being short heighted because the society she lives in is yet not ready to accept her the way she is.
I met Sahar seven months back in my office. She is part of the social media team of a news channel. She started her professional life seven years ago. At the first glimpse I tried to give the impression of being normal while looking at her and not to make her realize that her presence in the office gave me a surprise. I thought she has been hired on the quota basis allocated for special persons but I was wrong. With every passing moment, this little girl kept pleasantly surprising me with her multi talented personality. She sings, hosts programs for some web channels and is a motivational speaker too. For me she is an inspiration.
She has recently been awarded a one month long fellowship at Oklahoma University USA and will be off to her destination in October 2018. She believes that she this is the first time she has been awarded with something on the basis of her talent not her physical appearance.
Life isn’t as easy for Saeed as it is for any normal person like you and I. She has come through a lot and still the journey continues, journey of her never ending struggle to set a milestone for others like her.
“I feel my life is a rollercoaster ride which never stops and keeps zigzagging ever since I am born,” she explains.
She says, “Life was a challenge for me because I was different and my parents made me realized that in the early years of my life. Most difficult time of my life started when I joined school, which is when I came out the comfort zone of my house and parents and was ready to face the world with my tiny and petite body. I didn’t go to a special children’s school but to the school where my siblings and other cousins were going. I had seen children laughing at me, calling me tiny, making fun of me even asking me why I was the way I were? But my parents handled me with all the positivity they had in them. They told me for once and for all that I can’t get away with going to school. I remember in early age of school I was very enthusiastic to sing, dance or perform on stage.
“I saw some girls singing a folk song and dancing along, I jumped in and joined the feast, right at that moment the teacher came over and she started laughing at me she told me I can’t take part but she had something else for me to do. She added my name to a tableau. I was given a role of a ‘Saeen’; I came on stage with flower wreaths and danced Dhamal. I still don’t understand that why my teacher chose that character for me, may be because of my physical appearance,” Saeed seemed thoughtful.
Things were not different for Saeed in college and university life but her friends made her tough journey a bit easier. “My first interaction with boys was when I went to university; I was a tom boy kind of person though but varsity students scared me, especially boys. Apparently I filled myself with arrogance but inside, my heart and soul were always fearful. But in a month or so things got better and again I found good friends around me who accepted me the way I was,” Sahar told.
Sahar Saeed gives all the credit of her confidence and present situation to her parents who never treat her as a special child. She is of the view that her parents forced her into things which are meant to be for every normal child and had they not been doing so she would have ended as a laughing material for the society like many others of her kind. Be it working as a gate keeper of a restaurant or working as actor for stage dramas to entertain audience with one’s physical appearance. She is thankful to her parents for surrounding her with all the trust they had in her.
When asked Sahar about working for the same channel ever since she has joined media field, she got a little upset. She said that perhaps media industry is not for her.
“It’s been long that I am working for a media group, initially as a sub editor for their newspaper and then had been shifted to the social media department of the channel. I also co-hosted a morning show as social media expert.”
She said when she asked about the increment after co-hosting the morning show for six months, her in charge refused and stopped her from appearing in the show. “People used to tell me that media is all about glamour, only pretty faces can host a show but my ugly face with small body had been on screen every morning for six months and I consider it an achievement,” Sahar laughed out loud.
“It’s not that I never tried to get a better job, I had been called upon for job interviews several times on different channels but none of the interviewee tried to explore my talent but refused me a job saying I won’t be able to handle the work load with my little hands and feet. I want to tell them that my body is small but my brain works the same way as yours, may be more than that,” She looked determined.
She said, “I feel I am living the tale of beauty and the beast. The only difference is that it was a romantic fantasy whereas mine is moral and behavioral fantasy. They call us physically disabled persons but I call them mentally and morally disabled who gauge people by looks but not their ability.”
She says that media Is her passion and she will continue striving to mark her name in this field either as a program anchor or a social media expert. “I believe someday things will change, the beast of the society and the beauty of little persons will fall in true love with each other and then they both will live happily ever after,” Sahar sounded hopeful.