Saturday, May 27, 2006

Three cheers to The Great Khali
From working as a labourer in a small village in Himachal Pradesh, Dalip Singh Rana has wrestled his way to the glam arena of World Wrestling Entertainment
Baldev S. Chauhan

Dalip Singh Rana has come a long way. He once worked as a labourer in a tiny Himachal village and today he is a part of the professional wrestling circuit that is watched by millions worldwide. Dalip Singh now fights for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in the US under the ring name The Great Khali. Standing at 7 feet 3 inches and weighing 420 pounds, Singh is one of the tallest wrestlers in the popular WWE circuit.

He has also acted in a Hollywood film The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler.

I spoke to him on phone in California. He is practising hard and looking forward to his upcoming fights before he returns home in about three months, his uncle Sai Singh said.

On his debut in WWEs television show Smackdown! last month, Dalip attacked The Undertaker during his match with Mark Henry.

In January, Ten Sports signed a one-year contract with him.

Dalip has been named The Great Khali by WWE organisers as he often invokes Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction, during his fights. He is the third of the eight children born to his parents in Dhirana village of Sirmaur valley, about 170 km from Shimla. Before embarking on his sporting career, Dalip was an officer in the Punjab state police, a champion bodybuilder and an athlete.

Unfortunately, however, villagers in Dhirana cant watch his exploits in the ring because they have no access to cable television. Dalip worked for many years as a labourer in a small hamlet and later in Shimla, after which he was picked by a neighbouring Punjab Police chief and recruited as a constable, said Sai Singh. Here he began body building and later went on to make his debut as a professional wrestler. IANS