"I knew Jayaa was the one."
The world’s shortest bodybuilder has married his partner.
Pratik Vitthal Mohite, of Raigad, Maharashtra, stands at 3ft 4ins. He met 4ft 2ins Jayaa in 2019 after their families searched to match each other’s size.
But at the time, Pratik was not ready to settle down.
He said: “I liked Jayaa the moment I saw her and I think she liked me, she seemed impressed by my physique but I couldn’t provide for her.
“I wanted to get a good job, do well as a bodybuilder and make sure I could give her a good life.”
Pratik worked hard and is now world-famous, recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the “shortest competitive bodybuilder in the world”.
He has competed in over 50 competitions and now works as a personal trainer for aspiring bodybuilders, splitting his time between two gyms.
In December 2022, Pratik was ready to get married, so his parents arranged another meeting between him and Jayaa.
They regularly spoke until their parents agreed that they should get engaged.
Pratik said: “I knew Jayaa was the one.
“Not only is she close in height to me, we laugh a lot, we have the same sense of humour.
“My parents searched far for someone right for me, I always knew I’d have an arranged marriage but I hoped that I’d love the girl too. And with Jayaa it felt right from the start.”
The couple got married on March 13, 2023.
Pratik has come a long way since he was a young child comparing his inabilities to other kids his age.
His father Vittal Gajanan Mohite admitted:
“We were very sad when he was born and we saw the way he was. Any parent would feel the same.
“But raising him has been no problem, he’s learnt to do everything himself so he’s been no extra problem for us.”
His mother Sunita Vittal Mohite said she had regular check-ups during her pregnancy but no one said anything until her final appointment in her ninth month.
She recalled: “My mum took me to a different doctor in the ninth month and he told me the baby had a condition.
“The doctor asked me what did I want to do? He said he could give me an injection in the tummy and kill the baby.
“When I returned home I couldn’t sleep all night. My father said don’t do anything. My father-in-law also said we shouldn’t do anything. And so we went ahead with the baby.
“When he was born, everyone was happy he was a baby boy but his arms and legs were different.
“I was so worried about his future. If he couldn’t sit or walk, what would he do?”
Speaking about his childhood, Pratik said:
“When I was little I wasn’t able to play with my friends and that’s when I realised something wasn’t right. They could ride a bike, swim, and play but I couldn’t do anything. It made me feel sad so I tried to live like others.
“I was determined to do what the other kids were doing and move forward in life.”
He remembered being the only one sitting out of sports class in school.
Pratik continued: “I was a shy boy, and if I used to try and run the kids used to laugh at me. Boys used to make fun of me but I learnt to ignore them.
“I was angry inside and it’d put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day.
“My family would try to help and encourage me to ignore them. Eventually, I began to play cricket and then my body just got stronger.”
In his teenage years, Pratik lived with his uncle due to his home being closer to school.
It was during this time that Pratik began working out.
“Eventually I started to copy my uncle. I liked it and it made me feel good so I thought I’d carry on, and concentrated on bodybuilding.
“I was 18 when I started working out seriously at the gym.”
Pratik could not hold a dumbbell as his hands were too small to grip them. Instead, he used a weight plate and his friends would help him tie a handkerchief to the plate for a better grip.
He explained: “I used to struggle in the gym.
“But gradually I began to get stronger and when I did my first show it was a huge reward.”
He won his first bodybuilding contest in 2016.
Pratik follows a strict diet and exercise routine, going to the gym morning and evening, and running when he can too.
Sunita said: “He works very hard. I cook separate meals for him, I cook with little oil for him.
“And when he goes for a show he stops eating three or four days before, eats just light meals, fruit or veg, and doesn’t drink water on that day itself. He’s very committed.”
After getting married, Jayaa will now help Pratik with his diet and training regime.
Jayaa left school at 14 due to her parents not being able to afford to send her.
She is now looking forward to helping her husband continue his bodybuilding career.
Jayaa said: “I was impressed by Pratik from the moment I met him, he’s determined and I will do whatever to support him in his career. I am so proud to now be his wife.”
Pratik hopes to win a gold medal in Mr World.