Every life has a purpose, for some it could take years to even realise what that is. But Joby Mathew has been leading a purposeful life ever since God made him, short.
At 110 cm, Joby has no choice but to keeping looking up and his four-year-old son Jyothis already stands eye-to-eye. Setting his aim high is simply not a phys iological option for this 36-year-old.
When Joby arrived home, in Aluva, after 21 tiring flight hours, from Michigan Tuesday morning, he was wearing the competition shirt with bib number 656 and holding five medals, each with the inscription -World Dwarf Games 2013.
If Joby was able-bodied, that should read -World Championship -or even the Olympics and he would've been Abhinav Bindra, Vijender Singh or Saina Nehwal.
Friends and family gave the man a rousing reception, though the authorities and politicians, the latter who are busy with the siege and protection of the capital city, failed to turn up to cheer the champion.
Excerpts from an interview:
Congratulations. How big is this success for you?
I competed against athletes from Europe, Australia and the Americas. I won five gold medals, two in badminton and one each in shot-put, javelin and discus throw, for my country.
Isn't that something big?
Are you disappointed that no sports official came to see you?
(Laughs) When I was 17, I went to the state sports council and told an official I aim to be a world champion. He mocked at me saying even men with two legs can't do it. Had I been disappointed then, I would never have won eight gold medals in various events at the world level.
How many sports events do you compete in?
I play badminton, athletic field events, swimming, para-gliding and am the cur rent world champion in arm wrestling in the general category . I am training in shooting these days. My aim is to win world medals in 15 different events. Why you ask me! If Joby Mathew can be a other state, but never could I leave Kerala (sighs).
What is your next big step?
I want to scale Mt Everest.
You have competed in many international events. You are an unrecognised superstar. But why is it that you have never competed in an olympics like Gireesha did?
I missed the Paralympics in Athens, Beijing and London. All these years, I was ready to compete and achieve, but I could not (eyes filled with tears). The Kerala paralympic committee is not recognised by the state and I can only go through my state committee to the Indian team. If I wanted, I could have enrolled under Karnataka or Tamil Nadu or a n y sions in Shimla. I will be going to New Zealand this December to train with a mountaineering club as I am not qualified yet to be a mountaineer. But in seven yea rs, take my word, I will climb the Everest.
Surprised? Don't be, because Joby has never backed off from what he has set out to achieve. He is not a short man. He is super man!