Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Steelman of India

On a recent visit to Kochi, Amandeep Singh talks about he allows cars to go over his body and get hit by sticks and hammers, with no discomfort

By Shevlin Sebastian

Amandeep Singh lay on the floor on a stage in Mumbai. A brick was placed next to his head. His colleague revved up the engine of a bike, turned up the accelerator, and headed towards Amandeep. He rode onto the brick, over Amandeep’s head, and was gone. Amandeep shook his head and got up within seconds. Then another volunteer took a hammer and hit him hard on the chest. Nothing happened. Then he was hit by several sticks. Again, no problems. Then he effortlessly lifted a bike which weighed 130 kgs.

So, is it any wonder than Amandeep is known as the Steelman of India? He has taken part in numerous programmes, on television channels, and on stages all over India, as well as Hongkong and Dubai.

Asked how he can withstand these assaults on his body, Amandeep says, “You need a strong willpower. I stop breathing and keep my body in a state of heightened tension. I also pray to God to give me the strength. When a car goes over my buttocks, the pain will last for two minutes, and then it is gone. But I have also done many years of practice. So my body is used to it.”

But sometimes things can go wrong. Once, while performing in Mumbai, his regular car driver was not present. So a replacement got into the Scorpio. However, instead of driving over Amandeep’s buttocks, the driver took the car over the knees. For a few moments Amandeep felt dazed. Then he got up and continued with the programme. “By the grace of God nothing happened,” he says. “But after the show when I looked at my knees, the entire area had turned a bluish colour. Thankfully, it vanished after two days.”

To maintain his toughness, Amandeep has to go through a tough daily schedule, at his hometown of Ismailabad, Haryana. “Every day, I do about 2500 pushups, 180 kgs of bench press, and I lift weights of 250 kgs,” he says. “I also get punched about 3000 times.” In total, he spends six hours in the gym. He also does an early morning six-kilometre run. But just before that, he drinks one large jug of water. “It removes all the toxins inside my body,” he says.

Not surprisingly, he eats a lot. These include plenty of eggs, vegetables, rice and chappatis. “I drink two kilos of milk every day, along with oats,” says Amandeep. “Throughout the day I am having fruits and juice.”

And he is on a mission to inspire youths to follow his way of life. “There are 2500 students to whom I am giving free training, either directly or through WhatsApp,” he says. “I am trying to lure them away from drugs and become a physically powerful person like me.”

Amandeep says that in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, there is an alarming increase of drug-addiction among the youth. “To get the votes, the politicians give drugs to the youth,” he says. “For them, drugs is a big business.”  

Apart from his shows, Amandeep is busy preparing for the Ultimate Fight Championship to be held early next year at Hongkong. “This consists of boxing, wrestling, and kicking,” says Amandeep. “You have to defeat the opponent at any cost. There is no protection.”

He is being sponsored by Sikh organisations, like Tiger Jatha and Singh Naad Radio of Britain, and the Hongkong Gurudwara Committee.

It will be a big test for me,” says Amandeep, while on a brief visit, his first, to Kochi.

And he likes everything about the city. “Kochi is a beautiful place,” says Amandeep. “The people respect me a lot. They have a clean heart and look happy. I felt a peace of mind here. Nobody interferes with each other.  The food is also tasty and cheap.” 

(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)  

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