India’s Former Mr. Universe Turns 100

A former Mr. Universe who has just turned 100 said Sunday that happiness and a life without tensions are the key to his longevity.

Manohar Aich, who is 4 foot 11 inches (150 centimetres) tall, overcame many hurdles, including grinding poverty and a stint in prison, to achieve body building glory.

His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered Sunday in the eastern city of Kolkata to celebrate his birthday the day before.

Hindu priests chanted prayers while a feast was laid out to honour Aich, winner of the 1952 Mr. Universe body building title.

Rippling his muscles and flashing a toothless grin, Aich says his ability to take his troubles lightly and remain happy during difficult times are the secrets to his long life.

That, and a simple diet of milk, fruits and vegetables along with rice, lentils and fish have kept him healthy.

He does not smoke and has never touched alcohol, he said.

“I never allow any sort of tension to grip me. I had to struggle to earn money since my young days, but whatever the situation, I remained happy,” Aich said, sitting in a room decorated with posters and pictures of his many bodybuilding triumphs.

Aich, who was born in the small town of Comilla in Bengal, was a puny youngster. But he was attracted to exercising and building his muscles when as a schoolboy he saw a group of wrestlers in action.

In 1942, he joined the Royal Air Force under India’s 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 the jail that I began weight training seriously. This helped me prepare myself for the world championship,” said Aich.

“In jail I used to practice on my own, without any equipment, sometimes for 12 hours in a day,” he recalled.

The jail authorities were impressed with his perseverance and he was given a special diet to help build his stamina.

India’s independence in 1947 led to Aich’s release from jail. Dogged by poverty, Aich and his wife struggled to put their four children through school. There was little cash to indulge his passion for body building, but Aich took up odd jobs to earn a little on the side.

His 1950 win of a “Mr. Hercules” contest spurred him to set his sights on the Mr. Universe tournament in London.

In 1951, Aich came second in the contest, and stayed on in London to prepare for another shot at the title. He returned to India after winning the title in 1952.

What followed were a host of awards, including top positions in the Asian Body building Championships. Over the years, he also earned the more popular title of “Pocket Hercules” due to his 4 foot, 11 inch-frame.

Six decades later, Aich helps his sons run a gym and fitness centre and spends his days guiding juvenile hopefuls to reach the heights of body building.

A minor stroke last year robbed him of the ability to lift weights, but he keeps a watchful eye on young body builders training in his gym.

Although his two sons did not take up body building, Aich says his mentoring has earned him rewards. It has produced India’s eight-time national champion, Satya Paul. Another protege, Premchand Dogra, snagged the Mr. Universe title in 1988.

Among his regrets, says Aich, is that he never had a chance to meet his more famous counterpart, a fellow Mr. Universe winner, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But Aich says he’s seen many of Schwarzenegger’s action films.

“I like the incredible stunts he does in the movies,” Aich said.

Popular Posts

Symptoms of Heart Attack

Symptoms of Heart Attack

What is it? A heart attack is rather less spectacular than portrayed on TV, but it’s still a potential killer. You can have one without ever having it diagnosed. It’s only when the heart attack causes cardiac arrest that you become unconscious and stop breathing, in which case you need urgent attention. Most heart attacks [...]

Energy boosters

Energy boosters

Everyone goes through days when they just don’t have the energy to deal with day to day situations. In some cases a sense of fatigue and gloom tends take over. During such situations, people try to cope using short term energy boosters like caffeine or cigarettes. These prove to be a quick lift me up. [...]

NutriFit Diet Review

NutriFit Diet Review

Does the NutriFit diet work? Can the NutriFit diet help you lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks without using clenbuterol or diet pills? The short answer, assuming all things being equal, is basically yes. That having been said, while I am not a fan of pre-packaged diets or food delivery services, I am not going [...]

Ghostwriter Gesucht Unser Kompanie Anzug Jede Ihre Bedurfnisse Und Ansichten Auf GhostWriterHilfe

Hausarbeit Vorlage Realschule Bachelorarbeit Controlling Beispiel Argumentation Englisch Formulierungen Latex Vorlage Bachelorarbeit Maschinenbau Offenbar Ich bin vom Minderheit wenn es darum geht, mein Blick auf die Altgriechisch essen Veranstaltungsort, Nikos Nikos, in Houston, Texas . Es bietet gewonnen unzaehlige GhostWriterHilfe Preise – aehnlich wie Ehrungen so koennen Sie bekommen gruendlich zu reinigen – aber ich [...]

Beginners Training Routine For 12 Week

Beginners Training Routine For 12 Week

Workout SummaryMain Goal:Build MuscleWorkout Type:Full BodyTraining Level:BeginnerDays Per Week:2Equipment Required:Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, MachinesTarget Gender:Male & FemaleAuthor:Doug LawrensonWorkout Description Everyone has to start somewhere. If you have never trained with weights before, you need a routine to get your muscles prepared for more serious training. It’s essential that you complete a full body routine (like [...]

Recently Searched


Popular Article

  • 0
    Soup Diet recipe Soup Diet recipe

    Makes enough for one person for two daysIngredients3 tomatoes, 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes, 2 cans of liquid stock (beef, chi...

  • 0
    Gerd: living with it Gerd: living with it

    GERD is the short form given to a widely prevalent disorder known as Gastro esophageal reflux disease. This is the disease which l...

  • 0
    Mass-Tech Mass-Tech

    Created by MuscleTech, the makers of successful products like Hydroxycut for example, Mass-Tech is seen in most major retailers li...

  • 0
    Preventing hair breakage for health Preventing hair breakage for health

    Hair that breaks easily is indicative of a vitamin deficiency or dryness. Hair styling methods such as blow drying, straightening,...

  • 0
    Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Dating? Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Dating?

    Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have been friends for a long time, having worked on “That ’70s Show” together for years. But r...

Leave a Comment