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Dara Singh of Zindagi who traveled from Rustum-e-Hind to Bajrang Bali

I had never even gone to see the film… Dara Singh had said this in an interview given at BBC’s London studio, but when he entered the film arena from the wrestling arena in the year 1961, he did not leave anything empty. Let him go. Be it Dadaji from the film ‘Jab We Met’ or Hanuman from Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana. Even after saying goodbye to the world as Hanuman, the son of Pawan, his face still emerges in the hearts and minds of people.

The real name of Dara Singh, who left such a memorable impression in his performance, was Didar Singh Randhawa. Born on 19 November 1928 to Balwant Kaur and Surat Singh Randhawa in Dharmuchak, a village in Amritsar in Punjab, the childhood and youth of Didar were no less interesting. Today, the day has come once again to reminisce about the stories related to this king of wrestling and acting.

Unwilling marriage and almond kernels

Dara Singh was married at a young age, but his family decided their relationship without asking his wishes. On top of that, his life partner Bachno Kaur was older than him. Dara Singh himself became the father of Pradyuman Randhawa at the age of 17, even before becoming an adult. Dara’s mother Balwant Kaur fed him almond kernels to make him healthy.

These nuts were fed to them after being pounded in sugar and butter. Pure buffalo milk was also fed on it. Mother’s hard work paid off and later this food and drink made Didar Singh Dara Singh. His younger brother Sardara Singh and he together made a mark in the village with their wrestling. When they were discussed in the riots of the village, both the brothers made the identity of the village by their wrestling bets in the cities.

This wrestler is associated with the name of Dara Singh in such a way that even today people give examples of his strength with phrases like ‘Khud ko Dara Singh samajh rahe ho kya’. Dara Singh had gained a lot of fame in wrestling and during that time he got married to Surjit Kaur. He has three daughters and two sons from his second marriage. His son Bindu Dara Singh is also an actor.

Wrestling gave fame and films gave wealth

In the Malaysian Wrestling Championship in Kuala Lumpur, he defeated Malaysian champion Tarlok Singh in Indian style. After this his winning streak continued. He returned to India in 1952 after spreading his charm on a professional wrestler. Here also he retained the magic of his victory. He raised his wrestling flag in the country by becoming the Indian wrestling champion in 1954.

Wrestling was such that he was awarded the titles of Rustum-e-Punjab and Rustum-e-Hind. After this Dara Singh turned to Commonwealth countries. The oriental champion King Kong licked the dust. In this match, Dara Singh uprooted even the hair of King Kong’s moustache. After this  He also responded brilliantly to the open challenge of wrestlers from Canada and New Zealand. Finally, in 1959, he won the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in Calcutta by defeating Canada’s champion George Godianko and New Zealand’s John D’Silva. 

Dara Singh did not stop here, he visited all the countries of freestyle wrestling. After appearing in films, he had said in an interview that I will keep wrestling till I win the world championship. Finally, on May 29, 1968, the day arrived when Dara Singh became the uncrowned king of freestyle wrestling by defeating America’s world champion Lau Thej.

In the era of wrestling for 55 years, there was not a single one in his 500 matches in which he had to taste defeat. After winning the last match of wrestling in the year 1983, he said goodbye to professional wrestling. At the same time, the then President of the country, Giani Zail Singh,   Awarded the title of unbeatable wrestler. 

Thama kalam saath

Even after the era of wrestling, Dara Singh did not hold back from creating history. After the akhada, he made the pen his companion. As a result, in the year 1989, he wrote his autobiography ‘Meri Atmakatha’. After appearing in films, he was not limited to acting only, he made the film ‘Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar’ at the age of 41. He himself directed and produced it.

In the year 1978, he not only wrote the film ‘Bhakti Mein Shakti’ but also directed it. Dara Singh made films not only in Hindi but also in Punjabi. He made about 10 films including the Punjabi film ‘Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladau’. This film was released in London in 1971. Regarding the story of films, he said that the story is everything, if there is no story then there is no purpose of making a film. Dara Singh also worked as an actor, writer and director in 110 films in a film career of 55 years.

His film career started with Sangdil, Jhalak, Sikandar-e-Azam and Daku Mangal Singh, then in the year 2007, Imtiaz Ali’s film ‘Jab We Met’, he played the role of Kareena Kapoor’s grandfather. His last film as a guest appearance was ‘Ata Pata Lapta’ in the year 2012.  He was awarded the Best Actor Award for the film ‘Jagga’. In Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana, the character of Ram devotee Hanuman was played not only in the country but abroad. It is said that Dara Singh gave up non-vegetarian food for this role. 

Wrestler lost due to heart attack

On July 7, 2012, Dara Singh had a heart attack and this undefeated wrestling wrestler lost ahead of this tour. After the attack, Dara Singh was immediately taken to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. Seeing no improvement in the condition, on July 11 the doctors asked the family members to take him home. A day after this, on July 12, at his home "Dara Villa" He breathed his last at 7.30 in the morning. This brave warrior who defeated defeat accepted defeat in the battle of life in 84 years. 

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