Deepak Ansuia Prasad celebrated India’s National Day at a dangal honoring of the late Guru Shyam Lal of Ghitorni Village. The village had another cause to celebrate – a great victory by a local wrestler.
On 26th Jan., the Guru Shyam Lal Akhada, Aya Nagar organized a wrestling competition in honor of the late Guru Shyam Lal of Ghitorni Village.
The dangal was organized mainly by the brother of late Guru Shyam Lal, Shri Mast Ram Lohia and Ajit Pahalwan, Rajinder Pahalwan, Satbeer Pahalwan and other senior members of Guru Shyam Lal Akhara.
The prize money and equipment were financed by Sh. Mast Ram Lohia. The dangal offered first prize of 31000/- , which was later raised to 51000/-. There was also competition for 31000/-, 21000X2, and 10000X4 prizes. There were 5 matches of 5100/-, 10 of 3100/- and 20 matches of 1100/-. Also there were as many as possible events for junior wrestlers having prizes 51/-, 101/-, and 500/-.
It was a very nice, warm and sunny day, a welcome break from the freezing weather earlier in the month, and the dangal started early at 12 o’clock. The venue of the dangal was near Ghitorni metro station. The bouts began with bouts of young wrestlers aging 8-12 years. The child wrestlers were looking vibrant and entertained the crowed very much by their skill and moves. The matches were short and the winners got Rs 20/- or 50/- as reward. As the dangal proceeded, the bouts of junior wrestlers started, many of whom were very good wrestlers and it was well worth watching them compete. The matches of senior wrestlers were amazing including the first prize match between wrestler Varun and a Harayana Kesari wrestler. There was also one match between Goti Pahalwan and a Punjabi wrestler. And as always the wrestler Rajinder Bhati wrestled a spectacular match.
The dangal committee comprised:
Guru Ajit Pahalwan, Rajinder pahalwan, Bishambhar pahwlan, Gajraj, Satbir, Sunil, Anuj Advocate, Pradeep, Raju and Ram singh
The referees were:
Ajit Pahalwan, Coach Tony of Guru Shyam Lal Akhara and Ashok Pahalwan
The chief guests were:
BJP President Vijay Goel, Legislator from Okhla MLA Ramesh Bidhuri, Legislator from Badarpur MLA Ram Singh Neta ji, Advocate Supreme Court Umesh Chaurasia, Manish Advocate, Sanjit Advocate, Pratap Singh Tanwar and Ramvilas ji from Badshapur. They were all honored with traditional headgear (pagree).
There were also many famous wrestlers attending the dangal, including:
Hind Kesari Raju Pahalwan, Hind Kesari Jagdish Kaliraman and Hind Kesari Sripal Pahalwan of Guru Chandagi Ram akhara, Kishan Pahalwan, more than 30 times Hind Kesari Rajiv Tomar, Ashok Pahalwan, Kalipuria Pahalwan and Bhim Pahalwan. They were also honored with traditional headgear (pagree).
The star wrestlers who came to compete were:
Varun Pahalwan, Vikram Pahalwan, Goti Pahalwan, Ashok Bhati, Wrestler from Punjab, Uttarpradesh, Haryana and Rajsthan, girl wrestlers also came to compete but their bouts could not be organized as per the decision of dangal committee.
The village elders who were honored were: Varun Pahalwan and the Haryana Kesari (the lion of Haryana).
The First Prize bout was between Varun Pahalwan of Railway and a wrestler from Haryana. Both wrestlers were very skilled and the crowd was shouting and cheering throughout the match. Varun seemed to be winning and used a great technique on his opponent and almost pinned him, but the Haryana wrestler defended beautifully and grabbed Varun’s trunks. In the scramble, Varun’s trunks were torn and the dangal committee decided to end the match and call it a draw as it had already been going on for half an hour. The prize of 51000/- was split between them as a reward for a well-fought match.
Jeetu Pahalwan, the favourite of Ghitorni Village had a bout with a very good wrestler. Jeetu quickly took down his opponent and asked the referee to declare him the winner, but the referee didn’t see a pin so the bout proceeded. The opponent used a very good technique and threw Jeetu down, but he defended himself and came back to pin the other man. The crowd burst in to cheers and hoisted him onto their shoulders to celebrate his victory. The organizers awarded him a 51000/- cash prize and placed a flower garland around his neck. He was then paraded around the village accompanied by drummers. It was a moment of great pride for the villagers.
In another match, Kaliya Nag aka King Kobra was set to wrestle an opponent from Samander Akhara, but the wrestler wouldn’t fight with him and kept running out from the arena, prompting laughter from the spectators and Kaliya Nag also.
Rajesh Bhati, a great wrestler from the famous Padam Shri Guru Hanuman Akhara, had a bout with a wrestler from Punjab, Sribhagwan from Patiala. The match went on for a long time until Rajesh Bhati pinned the Punjabi wrestler in a spectacular way.
Among other wrestlers who won their matches were: Anni Pahalwan, Deepak Pahalwan (Deepak, a great wrestler from guru Capt. Chandrup akhara, won by using the dhobi technique), and Anup, a very good wrestler won from Chandu of CISF.
Apart from the wrestlers, organisers and village people, hundreds of spectators from all walks of life came to witness the great wrestling event. The dangal concluded almost at dark, and I picked up my belongings and went home, tired after a full day work.