A day after the demise of legendary former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, India lost one of her gems on Sunday. 104-year-old Manohar Aich, India’s first ever Mr. Universe, breathed his last after succumbing to age-related complications.
He was staying at his Baguihati residence in Kolkata and was on a liquid diet for the last 10-15 days.
Aich had turned 104 on March 17. It was in the year 1952, he won the coveted Mr. Universe title. After winning the title he earned the nickname “Pocket Hercules”due to his small height of 4 feet 11 inch. In 1951, he had participated in the Mr. Universe contest, but he finished second that year. He stayed back in London for another attempt in the contest and won it eventually, a year later.
Starting his journey as a coconut vendor at Sealdah station, Aich worked relentlessly and strode through a long way to meet success.
On his 100th birthday, Aich had given an interview to The Indian Express, where he had shared his life story. In 1942, he joined as a physical instructor in the Royal Indian Air Force. Aich had to go to jail for slapping a British officer, who made an offensive remark against Indians. Later he had worked in the British Railways, which helped him in realising his dream. In 1991, he contested Lok Sabha elections for the BJP but finished third after collecting 1.63 lakh votes.
He is survived by two sons and two daughters. His sons run a gym and a fitness centre and Aich helped them in it.
The Logical Indian pays homage to the invincible soul of Manohar Aich. We hope his story inspires many.