Saturday, 17 March 2012

Manohar Aich is 99

People from other states may not know much about him but he has been an icon of the Bengalis since many years. Nowadays, when young boys go for six or eight packs etc and steroid induced bodies are the order of the day, Mr Manohar Aich deserves praise for not only his body building feats but also living an active life which has completed 99 years. Wish him a very happy birthday and pray he completes the century and continue beyond. My homage to him.

A brief introduction of Mr. Manohar Aich from wikipedia is given below:

Manohar Aich (born 17 March 1913) is an Indian bodybuilder. He was born in Comilla District (now in Bangladesh), in a remote village named Dhamti. He won the 1952 Mr. Universe - Group III championship. He is also a three-time Asian Games gold medalist in body building. Being only 4 feet 11 inches (1.50 m) tall, he was given the name "Pocket Hercules". His chest measured 54 inches (140 cm) with a waist of 23 inches (58 cm) giving him the best v-cut. He currently lives in Kolkata.

From childhood he was interested in strength related sports, such as wrestling, weight-lifting, etc. Among other popular games, like the rest of the world, he is highly interested in football.

At the age of 12, due to a sudden attack of black-fever, his health broke down. However he regain his strength by physical fitness exercises. He started bodybuilding exercises such as push-ups (earlier known as dips), pull-ups (known as chinning), squats, crunches (sit-ups). Exercising with clubs was a very popular form at that time. Even Manohar used to do the same. He used to do only free-hand exercises with thousands of repetitions in every set.

Manohar was first introduced to weight-training when he joined the Indian Air Force (then known as Royal Air Force) during 1943. But by that time he had built his structure by the dint of hard work and thousands of repetitions of freehand exercises. Due to his enviable physique, he was highly praised by the then British officials in the Royal Air Force.

In 1950, at the age of 37, Manohar won the Mr. Hercules contest. In 1951, he stood second in the Mr. Universe contest. In 1952, he won the Mr. Universe title. He also won the World Championship of Spring Pulling by tearing a spring of 275 pounds tension. In 1955, he stood third in the Mr. Universe contest. In 1960, he stood fourth in the Mr. Universe contest at the age of 47 years.

Few of his tricks involved squats with 300 kilograms (660 lb), demonstrating muscle control, tear books of 1500 pages at a time. There was no magic involved in these shows. He has toured all over the world for bodybuilding shows, and has been widely acclaimed for his strength and muscle control for a very long time.

Aich continues to train for 90 minutes at his own gym Studio de Physique in Kolkata which has produced Indian champs like Satyen Das, Satya Pal and Hitesh Chatterjee. Aich's diet: rice (along with the starch), pulses (dal), vegetables, fruits, mainly mango, banana, jackfruit, guava. Among non-veg items, he likes to have fresh-water fish. He is blessed with 2 sons and 2 daughters. One of his sons manages the akhara and the other son manages the more conventional fitness center and disease-cure-centre at the same location.

No comments:

Post a Comment