Dara Singh’s Colourful Life On And Off Screen

His life appears proper out of a Bollywood potboiler. Pulled out of faculty and put to work on his household’s agricultural land, he’s married off younger however pissed off on the bickering between spouse and mom, he goes overseas to make a profession. In a number of quick years, he’s not solely a celeb sportsman and a preferred movie star, however a cultural icon.

This was the lifetime of Deedar Singh Randhawa, or Dara Singh, as we higher know him.

Able to tossing villains round with out breaking a sweat, stopping airplanes together with his naked palms, and chasing criminals to the moon in his onscreen persona, and in actual life, boasting of an extended bout as an unbeaten wrestler in each the novice {and professional} circuits, and as soon as lifting up a portly Raj Kapoor in his trademark “aeroplane” spin transfer in public, his very identify was synonymous with sheer power and masculinity for generations of Indians.

However Dara Singh’s journey from a farmhand to cultural icon – particularly when he turned the “common face” of two of the strongest Indian mythological heroes (Hanuman and Bheem), in addition to many different sturdy males or folkloric heroes, was no means clean and even assured. It was uncooked dedication, unflinching dedication, and a real champion’s trademark grit that made him what we all know him as.

Born in a Jat Sikh household on this present day (November 19) in Dharmuchak village of Amritsar district within the (undivided) Punjab in 1928, his childhood was not very comfy — introduced into sharp aid when the five-year Dara, or Deedara then, accompanied his household to the Golden Temple and listened avidly as his grandmother recited their household historical past all the way down to their relatively straitened present-day circumstances.

Most significantly, he was not born a strongman and was liable to be bullied, till he – just like the Hanuman he would so memorably painting on each the massive and small display screen – was made conscious of his power, as per his autobiography (initially revealed in Punjabi) “Meri Atmakatha” and Seema Sonik Alimchand’s masterful biography “Deedara Aka Dara Singh!” (2016)

Along with his first marriage a fiasco, he determined to go abroad in 1947. His journey to Singapore had an unpromising begin as he swerved from his ethical compass on the ocean voyage, however recanted and made amends in time. In Singapore in 1947, he labored in a drum-manufacturing mill and started his wrestling coaching below Harnam Singh.

Again dwelling, after a number of years, he competed within the ‘Rustam-e-Hind’ event in 1954 and gained by defeating Tiger Joginder Singh within the remaining and in 1959, gained the Commonwealth Championship by defeating George Gordienko at Calcutta.

Amid this, he additionally drifted into movies, debuting with a cameo in at least Dilip Kumar-Madhubala’s “Jane Eyre” impressed “Sangdil” and was then seen as a wrestler within the Kishore Kumar-Vyjanthimala starrer “Pehli Jhalak” (1954). Nevertheless, after this, there was a lull and it was solely within the Nineteen Sixties that he made his mark within the business.

From 1963, he did a number of B-grade movies – costumed dramas, dacoit movies, and even, science fiction. Most of them (16) have been with actress Mumtaz, who along with her winsome charms made a profitable pairing together with his machoism. Whereas most of those are obscure – “Faulad” (1963), “Rustom-E-Baghdad” (1963), “Chand Par Chadayee” (1967), and so forth, they’re a significant indication to what the widespread folks most well-liked. They usually will need to have been profitable for Dara Singh to get Rs 4 lakh per movie.

Within the course of, Dara Singh additionally went on to play a number of heroes of Indian and international folklore – the Biblical strongman in “Samson” (1964), early Twentieth-century Punjabi outlaw Jagat Singh Virk aka Jagga Jat in “Jagga” (Punjabi, 1964), the jungle hero in “Tarzan involves Delhi” (1965), Alexander the Nice in “Sikandar-e-Azam” (1965) – reverse Prithviraj Kapoor, who had performed the position himself over 20 years again, now as King Porus, Emperor Akbar-era desperado Abdullah ‘Dullah’ Bhati, of the Lohri music fame, in “Dulla Bhatti” (Punjabi, 1966), Sultana Daku within the 1972 movie of the identical identify, Daku Daulay Khan in “Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam” (1974), amongst others.

Then again, he started his foray into depicting the strongmen demigods of Hindu mythology and faith by taking part in Bheem in Babubhai Mistry’s “Mahabharat” (1965) (with one-time grappling associate Tiger Joginder Singh as Hanuman!). He probably performed the wind god’s son for the primary time in “Veer Bajrang” (1965), then in “Bajrangbali” (1976), essentially the most famously in Ramanand Sagar’s iconic TV serial “Ramayan” after which in B.R. Chopra’s TV collection “Mahabharat” and at last in TV collection “Lav Kush” (1997).

For good measure, he additionally performed Hanuman’s earthly father Kesari in TV serial “Jai Veer Hanuman” (1995), reverse his son Vindu Dara Singh, after which, Bhima’s son Ghatotkach in Gujarat movie “Maya Bazaar” (1984).

However that was not all – he additionally performed Lord Krishna’s irascible elder brother Balram twice in “Balram Shri Krishna” (1968) and “Krishna-Krishna” (1986), and Lord Shiva thrice – in “Tulsi Vivah” (1971), “Hari Darshan” (1972), “Har Har Mahadev” (1974), after which fervent devotee, Dyanu Bhakt, who had minimize off his personal head to sacrifice to the mom goddess and was resurrected in “Bhakti Mein “Shakti” (1978), and “Dhyanu Bhagat” (Punjabi, 1978).

After which, in Bollywood, he’s identified for his cameo because the circus strongman in Raj Kapoor’s magnum opus “Mera Naam Joker” (1970) – Kapoor, to whom he was shut, had simply referred to as him sooner or later to inform him he was within the movie, and returned the favour by showing in his “Mera Desh Mera Dharam” (1973), because the strongman whom Rajesh Khanna convinces to cope with some hoodlums in “Anand” (1971), the hero of “Hum Sab Chor Hain” (1973) with oldtime baddie Sheikh Mukhtar, the true “Mard” in Manmohan Desai’s “Mard”, and plenty of extra.

Dara Singh was additionally near Balraj Sahni and satisfied him to behave in his “Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar” (1970) – one among two Punjabi movies this proficient actor did in his total profession.

Retiring from wrestling in 1983, he was lively until his final, persevering with to behave in movies and TV serials for the almost subsequent three many years with highlights being Shah Rukh Khan’s boisterous and younger at coronary heart uncle in “Kal Ho Na Ho” (2003) and Kareena Kapoor’s grandfather in “Jab We Met” (2007).

He additionally served a time period as a nominated Rajya Sabha member (2003-09) – the place he was identified for asking questions on training.

Nevertheless, he couldn’t stand up to the ravages of growing old and illness, succumbing to a coronary heart assault in 2012, aged 83, capping a life which showcased the hassle and spirit wanted to develop into – and stay – a legend.

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