Imphal, July 30: Animal Gym, a fitness centre in Imphal, celebrated Arnold Schwarzenegger's 65th birthday today by organising a bodybuilding contest and a rock show at Shankar Talkies on the outskirts of the city.
Today was also the 10th foundation day of Animal Gym, so there was a reason for a double celebration. The programme was dedicated to the Hollywood actor-turned-politician for inspiring so many youths to work out and serving as a bodybuilding icon.
Four giant-sized portraits of a muscle-flexing Schwarz-enegger, with the words "a fit body builds a fit nation" written at the bottom of one of them, were put up on the dais. Sweets and snacks were distributed among those who had gathered at the programme, which included former Mr India N. Maipak, who won the title in 1970. A film depicting the Terminator's success story was also screened.
Maipak, 79, is preparing to participate in the Manipur Master's body building competition, which will be held later this year.
"We are celebrating Schwarzenegger's birthday because he is the guru of all upcoming body builders in the world. We are all his students although we have never met him. It is like Ekalavya learning to shoot arrows before a statue of Dronacharya," said gym owner R.K. Visworjit.
It is also a celebration of the human body's perfection, he added.
Those who showed off their bodies included Naorem London, who came second in the Moscow Mr World contest.
"It's fitting that the foundation of Animal Gym is celebrating the birthday of Schwarzenegger, a popular human being on earth today," Maipak said. Visworjit is a student of Maipak.
There is also another reason behind celebrating Schwarzenegger's birthday. Visworjit wants Schwarzenegger to know that he has many disciples in Manipur.
After the bodybuilding show, Battle Axe ' a local heavy metal band ' took the stage.
"We will let him (Schwarzenegger) know that we celebrated his birthday, by uploading pictures and a brief account of the event on his official website. Who knows he may start looking for Manipur and may do something for those who are worshiping him," Visworjit said.