India's 1952 Mr. Universe Turns 100

The centenarian attributes his success to his stint in jail and his longevity to his healthy diet

By Sam Schulz
|  Monday, Mar 19, 2012  |  Updated 7:18 AM EDT
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Manohar Aich turned 100 on Sunday. Sixty years ago, he won the Mr. Universe title for bodybuilding.

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The man who won the Mr. Universe title in 1952 celebrated his 100th birthday his weekend.

Toothless, 4-foot-11-inch Indian bodybuilder Manohar Aich was feted Saturday by the West Bengali government for his achievement, The Indian Express reported.

The next day, he turned 100 years old.

Although he stopped lifting weights after he suffered a stroke last year, Aich is still a fixture at his gym in Kolkata.

"These youngsters want the easy way out these days. They don’t have the time and energy to go through the drills in an old-style gymnasium. They don’t worship their body," he told the newspaper.

For Aich, worshipping his body has entailed a diet of lentils, fruits, vegetables and fish and no alcohol or tobacco, The Associated Press reported.

He also credits his longevity — and bodybuilding success — with his stint in jail seventy years ago. In 1942, before India's independence, Aich was court martialed and then jailed for slapping a British officer.

“It was the best thing that happened to me. It was in jail that I first got fascinated by weights. I spent my time training," he told the Express.

It was in jail, too, that Aich earned his nickname, "Pocket Hercules," from a jailor who liked him, according to the AP.

At 100, Aich has one unmet dream: To meet bodybuilding icon Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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