With giant rippling biceps and enormous girth, they pose an imposing spectacle individually but when wrestlers of this group hang out together, say at an eatery or a park, they usually attract awestruck looks from passersby.
   
Calling themselves "Freak Fighters Wrestling", the group is now attempting to garner an audience for the sport and also make it a more lucrative career choice in the country, which has few takers for even mainstream wrestling.
    
"Nobody wants to take an initiative. There are no stadiums, no facilities. Plus there are risks to life involved," says 25-year-old Manish Kumar, who trains the brawny group in Bawana here.
   
While the concept may sound glamorous, with scripted fights and aggression, the life of the wrestlers in the group is exposed to various dangers.
       
"The fights may be scripted, but the stunts can't be fake. The risk of fatal injuries is always there. It's a risk these people take every day", says Kumar.
   
Freak Wrestlers are not just limited to men. Apart from 15 active wrestlers and 10 trainees in the male category there are two female wrestlers active in the ring along with two under training.
   
Most wrestlers hail from economically-strained backgrounds and face lack of resources that they say makes life even more difficult.

The possible means of earning a livelihood, they say, are by becoming bouncers, guards or trainers in gyms.
   
"Wrestlers need handsome resources to be able to meet their dietary demands. The average diet of a wrestler can range from 45 eggs a day, one whole chicken, two to three portions of fruits and vegetables along with dietary supplements," says Kumar.
   
Thus for these men, and women, with big muscles and brawny chests, it is difficult to make ends meet.
    
"On difficult days I go to the late night markets and buy the leftover fruits at throwaway prices. I need to eat right in order to maintain my physique," says Jeetu who is popularly known as the "Big Bully" in the ring.
    
The group runs on funds contributed by pioneers Manish Kumar and Sachin Aadvanshi and also by member wrestlers. Nobody has yet shown a keenness to sponsor them.
    
"Most of these guys are trainers in gyms. They contribute and also take care of their diet. One guy is a security guard at a bank. He still contributes whatever he can from his limited pay," says Manish.
    
Life-threatening risks and dearth of money affect their families gravely.
    
At 150 kg, "Big Bully" who claims to have the largest biceps in Asia jokes, "My wife tells me that we are not Freak Fighters but 'Free ke' fighters."
   
The next ten years or so, says Kumar, remain crucial for this group, since it is one of the first to enter this industry.
    
"Cricket has come to a saturation point now. More sports need to be brought in. The scope is more," says Manish who has left a government job to start this venture.
    
An upcoming endeavour includes a possible association with the Indian Army, says the trainer Kumar.

(Agencies)

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