The ‘Pocket Hercules’ was the second Indian to win a Mr. Universe title in the 1952 NABBA Universe Championships.
Only the second Indian to win the ‘Mr. Universe’ title, famous Indian body builder Manohar Aich passed away at his home here following old age complications at the age of 104. Being only 4 feet 11 inches (approximately 1.50 m) tall, he was given the name “Pocket Hercules”. Manohar Aich, who is also a three-time Asian Games gold medalist in body building, leaves behind an enriched history of umpteen triumphs and numerous achievements.Right from a tender age, Manohar was interested in bodybuilding and fitness and despite the obvious lack of gyms and fitness equipment at his time, Manohar with his tremendous determination and indomitable spirit defied all the odds to become one of the most revered body builders of India. It can be known that his workout in his teenage included push-up, pull-ups, squat ,leg raise etc. The diminutive man took part in Mr. Universe for the first time in 1951 where he came second and in the next year, he bettered himself to win the historical title. He competed again in 1955 and came third, and fourth in 1960.
At this time, he was 47 years of age. He continued to participate in several other bodybuilding events. Age couldn’t prove to be a deterrent for him as he performed even in his eighties and he did his last bodybuilding in 2003 at the age of 90.The incredible personality has often said that he has never touched alcohol nor has he smoked. He revealed that his diet consisted of what Mother Nature provided such as fruits, milk, vegetables, and rice, lentils and fish.Manohar Aich joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 where he began to work on his body and he was introduced to weight training by Reub Martin, a British officer in the RAF. By that time, however, he had built his incredible structure with unbelievable hard work and determination.Aich was highly praised by British RAF officials for his immaculate physique but he caught the ire of them when he was imprisoned for slapping a British officer in protest at the officer’s remarks in favour of colonial oppression.Fully fit till some time back, the veteran passed away on Sunday at 2:30 pm at his house. Surely an era ended with his demise.