A Source of Strength and Wisdom

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This was shot early in the morning before sunrise on the road from Varanasi to Bodh Gaya and at a few miles before the border of Bihar in a little akhara lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
An akhara (gymnasia) is a place where Indian wrestlers (pehlwan) practice their training.
This man was one of the teachers there, generally speaking, Muslim teachers of wrestling are known as Ustaad, whilst Hindu teachers are known as Guru.

“A wrestling guru is one who instructs his disciples on the fine art of wrestling. He prescribes each wrestler’s individual regimen by delineating the number and sequence of exercises, the types and number of moves to be practiced, the content and quantity of diet, and the time and amount of rest. A guru is also a source of strength and wisdom, and a wrestler must be willing and able to commit himself totally to his guru in order to gain access to this strength and wisdom”.
(“The Wrestler’s Body: Identity and Ideology in North India” by Joseph S. Alter)

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