Call it an irony of fate or falling on bad times, but the fact is that the national-level wrestler turned short-time TV artiste of repute, Uday Bhan Singh (40) is now living an obscure life in Bokaro for the past 10 years.
Uday had represented India in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Popular tele-serial Mahabharata's 'Ghatotkacha', the offspring of 'Bhim' and 'Hidimba' of the epic, is a security guard with the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Bokaro.
Despite earning 14 medals in different national wrestling events, the 6 feet 11 inch tall and 130 kg heavy wrestler, has faded into oblivion with the passage of time.
SAIL, Bokaro gave him a job but only as a security personnel. "I earn just enough to make ends meet for my family. I have now forgotten about the diet that I used to take when I was an active wrestler," said Uday.
He was in the state capital to coach boys in a camp organised by Jharkhand Wrestling Association. The normal daily diet chart of vegetarian Uday included 10 lts of milk, two kg vegetables, 40 chapattis, 10 eggs and 250 gm ghee.
The story as to how he bagged a role in the popular serial is an interesting one. Singh had gone to Mumbai to his relatives' house. He met Gufi Paintal, the 'Sakuni mama' of the serial.
Impressed by his physique, Paintal introduced Singh to the producer of the serial. His physique earned him the role. "I worked for about 15 days for the serial and was paid Rs 40,000," said Uday.
He wanted to pursue a career in Bollywood much in the line of renowned wrestler-actor Dara Singh, but the same 'physique', which had earned him a place there, now became his enemy.
"Afraid of my physique, heroines refused to give shots with me. The directors often found it difficult to find a suitable place in the film to fit me. Thus, my dreams to become an actor shattered soon," said Uday.