Deepak Ansuia Prasad traveled to Fatehpur Billoch to see a dangal on Christmas Day and was touched by the kindness of the organizers and the Indian wrestling community as they recognized his contributions to the sport.
The Dangal Committee of Village Fatehpur Billoch organized a spectacular wrestling event on Christmas Day.
Wrestlers from the sates of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pardesh participated in the event.
I told one of my Facebook friends about the competition and he said he wanted to come along, so he came to Delhi to pick me up all the way from Gurgaon and we headed to Village Fateh pur Billoch, Ballabgarh.
The traffic on the main Agra Mathura highway was very bad and delayed our arrival. By the time we reached the village the junior matches were already finished and senior bouts were in progress.
I introduced my friends to the Dangal committee and they welcomed both of them and we settled ourselves for filming the event.
It was a cold, foggy day, but the warm spirits of the Dangal committee and the spectators helped relieve the chill from the weather.
The referees Sunder Pahlwan, Bishambhar Pahlwan were in charge of officiating and one of the committee members announced the matches.
The Dangal committee welcomed chief guests Lala Gangaram owner of the A-One Bhatta (brick kilns) who donated Rs 21000/- and Mempal Rawat the president of Kisan Morcha. A member of one of the biggest political parties of India, the BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party), Mempal Rawat also gave Rs 21000/- contribution and in his inaugural speech he promised that if he is elected he will open a stadium for Kushti at the place where the Dangal was organized. People clapped and welcomed his announcement and hailed him. Such wrestling fans make a great contribution to helping keep the tradition of Indian wrestling alive.
The SHO of the area was also honored with Lala Ram, Mempal Rawat and also myself with headgear Pagree, considered a show of respect and a tribute from the village people, the Dangal committee and head of the village.
I will remember the hospitality of Fatehpur Billoch for honoring my work to lift the profile of wrestling.
In one of the matches, wrestler Bhagat of Guru Sundar Akhara defeated Vikram. The match started with a prize of 5100/-, but people like Kapil Khalifa increased the prize by 700/-, and others followed until the match reached 7100/- and finally when Sundar won he was awarded 11000/- from the Dangal committee. It was a very exciting match.
The great wrestler Kala Nag AKA the black King Kobra fought with Charan Singh Pahlwan of Jhar chetri. Both were equally matched and the match sometimes looked bitter as both the wrestlers were slapping each other. Kala Nag accidentally slapped his opponent’s face very hard after getting a good beating on the head himself an both wrestlers offered their apologies on request of the referees. The wrestlers were so equally matched, that the bout ended in a draw.
Again the wrestler Charansingh fought with a wrestler of Samandar akhara and was pinned within seconds by Charan singh with the Dhobi technique using the left hand, a rarely seen move. It was a fascinating match.
In one of the disputed matches a wrestler fell on his own while using his technique and pinned himself while forcing down his opponent. His opponent fell over him and he was declared the loser. He protested the decision, but the Dangal committee awarded the prize to his opponent.
There was also a girls match. People were excited to watch the girls competing, starting at Rs 100/- and people increased it up to 1700/-. The wrestler in blue costume won the match and took her prize. I wish more women wrestlers would participate.
The final match was played between Vikram Pahlwan of Guru Jasram Akhara Delhi, which is incidentally my Akhara also, and a big, stout wrestler of Palwal. The match started at Rs 11000/- but people like Pandit Somprakash increased the price by 10000/- and Rs 1000/- by Bishambhar Khalifa. Manoj Pahlwan increased the price by 5000/-, Mahesh Pahlwan increased the price by 500/-, Sonu Halwai also increased the prize by 500/- Mahesh Baba also increased the prize by 5000/- and soon many people poured in and the prize the reached 31000/- , then 40000/- then 71000/- and finally reached 100,000/-, however the match was eventually ruled a draw.
All the Gurus, coaches, veteran wrestlers and the village head were honored at the end, which is a long tradition in Indian wrestling fraternity, with head gear, shawl and some cash. The Dangal committee chief thanked all the participants, the spectators, and the guests and concluded the event till next year.
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