Manohar Aich on his 102nd birthday
|Born||Tipperah, Bengal, British India|
|Spouse(s)||Jyuthika Aich (1924–2002)|
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 (approximately 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). He currently lives in Baguihati.
Since childhood he was interested in strength related sports, such as wrestling and weight-lifting. At the age of 12, due to a sudden attack of black fever, his health broke down. He regained his strength, however, by physical fitness exercises. He started bodybuilding exercises such as doing push-ups, squats, pull-ups, leg raises, and traditional sit-ups. He only did bodyweight/calisthenics exercises with up to 100 reps per set at that age. He attended the Jubilee School in Dhaka. While at school, he used to go to the Ruplal Byayam Samiti for physical exercises. He began to perform in shows titled Physique and Magic along with P. C. Sorcar in Dhaka. He used to perform feats like bending steel with his teeth, bending spears with his neck, and resting his belly on swords.
Aich joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 where he began his pursuit in bodybuilding. He was introduced to weight training by Reub Martin, a British officer at the RAF. By that time, however, he had built his structure with prolonged hard work and dedication. Due to his physique, he was highly praised by the then British officials in the Royal Air Force. While working at the Royal Air Force, Aich was imprisoned for slapping a British officer in protest of the officer's remark in favour colonial oppression. Aich began his weight training seriously while in jail. He would spend hours in physical exercises. Observing his knack in physical culture, the jail authorities arranged a special diet for him.
In 1950, at the age of 37, Aich 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.He did many bodybuilding shows from 1960. His last show was performed at 2003 at the age of 90.
A few of his tricks involved squats with 300 kilograms (660 lb), demonstrating muscle control, and tearing 1500 page books. He has toured all over the world for bodybuilding shows and has been widely acclaimed for his strength and muscle control. He was only who could do the best free chest step.
Aich continues to train for up to 90 minutes at this age and still stretches after his workout. He accomplishes this at his own gym Studio de Physique in Kolkata, which has produced Indian champions such as Satyen Das, Satya Pal, Sundeepan Sen and Hitesh Chatterjee. Aich's diet consists of rice (along with other starches), pulses (dal), vegetables, fruits, mango, banana, jackfruit, and guava. Among non-vegetarian items, he likes to have fresh-water fish.
- Pocket Hercules who strode the Universe in The Hindu Business Line
- Clarke, Suzan (19 March 2012). "Mr. Universe 1952 Turns 100, Credits Healthy Lifestyle, Happiness". ABC News Blogs. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- "কলকাতার কড়চা". Anandabazar Patrika (Kolkata). March 19, 2012. p. 4.
- Ghosh, Anil Chandra (February 2008) . ব্যায়ামে বাঙালী [Byame Bangali] (in Bengali). Kolkata: Presidency Library. p. 57. ISBN 81-89466-04-6.
- "India's first Mr Universe turns 100". India Today. March 19, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Baker, David (March 18, 2012). "'Don't take life too seriously': Advice of 'Pocket Hercules' Mr Universe champion as he celebrates his 100th birthday". Daily Mail. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- "আরও ২৫ টানব, আশা শতায়ু মনোহরের". Anandabazar Patrika (Kolkata). March 20, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Outlook India article : http://www.outlookindia.com/glitterati.asp?fodname=20050725
- Times of India article : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/276581.cms
- Globo.com article : http://g1.globo.com/mundo/noticia/2012/03/ex-fisiculturista-indiano-mantem-forma-antes-de-fazer-100-anos.html