Thursday, April 12, 2012

India's Former Mr. Universe Celebrates His 100th Birthday

'Don't take life too seriously' that's the advice of former Mr Universe champion popularly known as the 'Pocket Hercules' as he celebrates his 100th birthday.


The former Mr Universe champion, Manohar Aich, who is 4ft 11inchs tall, overcame many hurdles to achieve his body building glory. And the key to his long life for the super-fit centenarian, who has battled poverty, a stint in prison and a minor stroke is - not taking life too seriously. The muscular, Manohar Aich was crowned as Mr Universe back in 1952.


Born in the small town of Comilla in Bengal, he was attracted to exercising and building his muscles when as a schoolboy he saw a group of wrestlers in action. After leaving school in 1942, he joined the Royal air force under Indias British colonial rulers and it was there that he began his relentless pursuit of body building. Encouraged by a British officer named Reub Martin, who introduced him to weight training, Aich earned praise for his physique from his peers in the air force.


Some years later, however, he was thrown into prison when he protested against colonial oppression. It was in that jail that he began weight training seriously. This helped him prepare for the world championship. He said that, In jail he used to practice on his own, without any equipment, sometimes for 12 hours in a day.


Now and then the Indian body builder Manohar Aich looks at a print of one of his pictures hanging in a gym, in Kolkata. The 'pocket Hercules' celebrates his 100th birthday surrounded by his family in India. Manohar Aich says that one of his biggest regrets is not having met fellow former muscle man Arnold Schwarzenegger.