A brief history of Indian body building
Or how to put your mother on top of a cupboard
The death of Manohar Aich, India’s Pocket Hercules and the second-ever Indian Mr Universe (after Monotosh Roy), earlier this month brought forth a stream of reminiscences about physical cultures in this part of the world. Much of what we know about the subject is anecdotal and dispersed, but if there is one work which speaks reliably on the subject, it is Sachindra Majumdar’s 1940 classic Balider Galpa (Tales Of Strength), now sadly out of print. Published by the Kolkata-based Deb Sahitya Kutir, the nearly 200-page book is a veritable who’s who of Indian strongmen and, on some occasions, women, interspersed with the rarest of rare photographs.