Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Jeetu in White
Akash Yadav vs Jeetu Pahalwan, November 2012 (?)
There's something elemental about folkstyle wrestling. The gathered throng surrounding the clay pit under a stretch of sky, one man against one man at the center. I like the natural roughness of the sport, not played up like pro wrestling, not brutal like MMA, but tougher than collegiate wrestling.
Though governed by rules and discipline, Indian wrestling (kushti) resembles the unaffected roughhouse of boys or bear cubs. Gay or straight, I think I would have liked this sport. The long stretches of gridlock may bore some fans (those accustomed to TV wrestling especially), but for me it's a mark of the event's authenticity.
A month ago I shared some GIFs of Jeetu in action. Here he is against Akash Yadav about a year later. I like the way Akash tosses a clod of clay at Jeetu in the last GIF. Throwing clay on oneself and one's opponent is a gesture of blessing. (In the top GIF, Jeetu blesses himself as he enters the dirt pit.) See the earlier post for links to other, more knowledgeable sources on Jeetu and kushti.