If you are a gym freak, then you may have heard the name of Manohar Aich India’s first Mr. Universe – a few times. But do you know about Montosh Roy? Does his name ring a bell? No. News flash: He WAS the first ever Mr. Universe of our country and not Manohar.
Born and brought up in Gajaria village in Dhaka district now Bangladesh Montosh rose above the poor economic conditions of his family to achieve his love for weightlifting a passion that eventually immortalized his name in the history of sports.
Let us take a closer look at the “man” himself:
1. He Studied In An English Middle School:
Yep. Despite the harsh set-backs for his family, Montosh attended a good educational institute that introduced to him to the universal language of “English”. It was in school that he fell in love with pumping iron. He was only 12 years old back then.
2. Yoga Guru Bishnu Cahran Ghosh Mentored Him:
In fact, he was so impressed with Montosh’s focus and dedication during workout sessions that he immediately decided to take the young pupil under his wing. It was under his guidance that Montosh was able to take the plunge into world of bodybuilding with a twist of yoga.
3. He Lost His First Competition:
It was in 1939 when this happened. However, his failure further motivated him to work harder. As luck would have it, he came first in the East Indian Bodybuilding Championship held in the same year! In 1947, Roy secured the title of the All India Bodybuilding Championship for the newly-independent India.
4. He Always Had A Smile On During A Tough Workout:
It was just before his Mr. Universe win in 1951 that he had his last workout at Edward Bolton’s gym in London. Instead of panicking or stressing out throughout the session, do you know what he did? He merely smiled.
5. Best Body Measurements:
During his prime, the 5’5’’ tall Montosh’s body measurements were 16.5’’ (neck), 45” (chest), 16.5’’ (bicep), 23’’ (thigh) and 15.5’’ (calf). He weighed 70 kilograms. By the way, these measurements are hard to achieve even in modern-day bodybuilding. Also, there was no use of steroids back then!
Post his major win, Montosh returned to India and opened a few bodybuilding centers and gyms. He laid the foundation of Indian Bodybuilding Federation in the country. He died a rather lonely death in 2005. Despite his wonderful contribution to the sport, he never got due recognition from the government or his countrymen.