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Khali mania

India’s wrestling superstar The Great Khali arrives in Mumbai this week to interact with his fans over the weekend.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2010 12:55 IST
Naomi Canton

He is seven feet three inches tall and weighs 190 kgs. It would be no exaggeration to call The Great Khali, a giant. The towering Punjabi professional wrestler, whose real name is Dalip Singh, will visit the city and interact with his fans over the weekend. The last time he came to India was in 2008, for an official trip with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

At that time, the 37-year-old hulk, who is no stranger to Hollywood, was inundated with offers to act in Bollywood films. He was even asked to help parliamentary candidates on their election campaign trails. After landing in Delhi on Wednesday, he will keep a low profile for two days.

Wishes come true
On his arrival in Mumbai this Friday, the SmackDown Superstar will meet children suffering from serious illnesses at an event arranged by the Make a Wish Foundation India at the Taj Lands End, Bandra. He will be handing out toys and making some of the young patients’ wishes come true.“Ten Sports, the channel which broadcasts WWE shows in India, and WWE had met these children to make a list of their wishes. They have selected some to have their wishes revealed,” says a source from WWE.

Guest appearences
He will make surprise appearances at the toy store Hamleys in Lower Parel and Inorbit Mall in Malad, where he will sign autographs and interact with the fans on Saturday. He will also shoot for an episode of the TV show, Dance India Dance Little Masters on Zee TV for a special appearance segment. Before returning to the US, he will travel to his hometown, Dhirana in Himachal Pradesh, to spend time with his family on Sunday.

The Great Khali, who earlier this month, announced on SmackDown that he was taking time off from wrestling to come to India, told HT Cafe: “I’m really excited to come to India. It’s always great to be back. After all… it is where my hometown is. The excitement and fan following that I have here, gives me a lot of energy so that I can face the toughest opponents back in the ring.”

Atul Pande, CEO of Taj TV, which owns Ten Sports, says: “The Great Khali’s visit to Mumbai will be a supercharged WWE visit full of action, excitement and sure to leave the city shouting for more.”

The great khali’s adventures so far
* The Great Khali was the first Indian professional wrestler to join WWE.
* He made his debut on Smackdown in 2006 after beating The Undertaker.
* He is one of the largest athletes that WWE has been witness to.
* He is famed for instituting the Khali Kiss Cam with his associate Ranjin Singh, allowing several members of the WWE Universe to sample his playboy kiss.
* He has acted in The Longest Yard (2005) and Get Smart (2008), both directed by Peter Segal. He will be seen in the film, MacGruber, in the US this May. Films currently being produced are The Tree of Life, a drama starring Brad Pitt; and Bollywood film Ramaa: The Saviour, directed by Hadi Abrar.