​Celebrating Raymond D'Souza- Iron Man of Mangaluru - REMINISCENCE with MANOHAR PRASAD

Mangaluru: It was on October 27, 1990 that a simple 26-year-old lad from coastal district took the world by storm with his chiseled body of iron.

Raymond D' Souza, brought home to Mangaluru the title of Mr World in the Body Building Championship that was held in Japan and it surely changed the way the world looked at India, as far as body building arena was concerned.

Though Body Building as an art has lot of followers, only a handful from India could leave their mark at the international platform and Raymond is one of them.

Looking at the ease with which the body builders flex their muscles, any onlooker will feel that it is all about eating well and sweating it out in the gym. But, that is not the case. Body building is surely not everyone's cup of tea. It needs persistence, perseverance and dedication. Only with these qualities can a person become a body builder. Apart from discipline in terms of food habits and lifestyle, there is a requirement of financial backing too. However, focusing only on his goals and never deviating from where he aspired to each, Raymond D'Souza carved  niche for himself in the field of body building, that too in a way that generations to come would remember his rare feat.

Born in a humble, economically backward family in Bantwal on 31-03-1964, Raymond had a strong inclination towards body building right from tender age itself.

Life kept posing hurdles and Raymond accepted each hurdle with a smile on his face. Savouring healthy food that a body builder should consume was a distant dream considering the background that Raymond hailed from, but working a little extra to make that extra money just to ensure that he had a wholesome diet did make a difference in his life.

Fine tuned by teachers like Ganesh Pandeshwar and Ramakrishna, at present Raymond is being trained under M S Kumar. On the basis of his merit, he bagged a job in Corporation Bank and since then there has been no looking back.

The feat achieved by young Raymond about 25 years ago is still an inspiration for young boys aspiring to make it big in the field of body building.

All along the glorious journey so far, Raymond has bagged prestigious titles of 'Karnataka Shree' six times, 'Karnataka Shreshta' seven times, one each of 'Bharath Kishore', Bharath Kumar', 'Bharath Sri Kesari', ''Bharath Siri' six times, 'Bharath Shreshta' eight times, runner up at Mr Asia held in Japan in 1987 and finally bagged the coveted title of Mr World in 1990.

In his 50s and Raymond still loves his passion. Apart from taking part in various body building events, Raymond runs his own Gym, where he has been shaping young body builders.

Raymond, after all the success and popularity, even tried his hands on films and has shined on the celluloid.

Annaji, Police Story, Maribale, Oriyadori Asal, Thriller Killer are some of the movies in which Raymond has shown his talent.

For the simple man that he is, even today Raymond is grounded and often says that it is the love of the people that has brought him all the success and he hence bows down to them with reverence.

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