Boxer-actor Sharad Saxena seemed to be giving 200 percent to the show 100 percent De Dhana Dhan. He gets candid in an interview and shares his experience of being a manager to 11 Indian Wrestlers in South Africa.
Tell us about the show.
We have taken along 11 wrestlers from different parts of India. I would rather call them soldiers, as they have gone there to bring back the glory home by defeating South Africa.
What is new in this show?
Here we are training these few muscular men for two months and gearing them to fight against the veteran wrestlers in SA. Trust me, they are truly making India proud. We shall salute them for their courage. We are presenting age-old traditional wrestling in professional format in a dramatic style.
How are these men getting trained?
They are undergoing rigorous training from 6 am in the morning to late evening. They shoot eight fights a day and I must say, boys are really working hard.
How is your equation with these men as their manager?
They have become like a family to me. We share amazing camaraderie. They are very simple people, with riotous sense of humor.
How much do you relate to the sport?
Kushti, has always been close to me. In fact, I always aspired to be a wrestler. I have also done a film Boxer that was also based on same sport.
What do you have to say about the depressing status of wrestling in India?
We Indians are strong-willed, and these boys are there in SA to prove the same. People here look down upon sports like wrestling, as they believe that a man with a giant body lacks intelligence; which is not true, as these men are strong as well as have amazing sense of humor. But even today in the small towns of India wrestling is a popular sport and the local wrestlers becomes a hero figure for the localities.
Why do you think the sport could not grow in India?
People who are suppose to respect these sports consider themselves above everything, and so these sports could not grow. I would say Wrestling is a manly sport, not gilly-danda like cricket.
-Deepa Mishra/ Sampurn Media