(This article was originally published on 22 March 2017. The Quint is republishing this article from its archives to mark The Great Khali’s birthday.)
From struggling to get two meals a day to winning the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) championship and becoming an international star. This is the incredible story of The Great Khali.
The Man Who Became Khali, written in deceptively simple language, is a short memoir charting the journey of Dalip Singh Rana, now famous as The Great Khali.
The 178-page book, which Khali has co-authored with Vinit K Bansal, is spread over 27 short chapters.
In the book, he mentions the first time people flocked around him, making him feel like a superstar. This simplicity and honesty characterises the memoir.
The initial chapters take readers through his days of struggle, where he writes about his biggest regret in life – not completing his basic education. Being a fifth-standard drop-out, Khali had to face a lot of criticism and humiliation. He writes:
“Being uneducated, I know the pain of not receiving a good education. I had to face a lot of hardships due to a lack of knowledge and communication skills. I remember feeling a sharp sting in my heart when people mocked me because I couldn’t speak English, when I was not able to make quick calculations or when I wasn’t able to fill the participation forms by myself.”
Things first began to change for Khali after a chance encounter with a journalist, who insisted on interviewing an ordinary villager like him.
His towering figure.
"You are huge, very huge. Don't you think people should know about you?" the journalist said. This led to the publication of a feature story and eventually a job in the Punjab Police.
A man who had never heard of the WWE, Khali writes about the first time he watched a WWE bout on TV.
“It increased my interest in wrestling and I found the moves fascinating.”
He later went to train with the WWE and found success in the US, overcoming the hurdles in his way. He mentions some of his cherished memories, like the time he won his first international match and the day he became WWE champion in 2007.
The book is a great read for fans of the Great Khali – and also for those seeking inspiration from his remarkable life.
(This article has been published in an arrangement with IANS. Somrita Ghosh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)