Mitti ka Sher: Tracing wrestler Jassa Patti’s struggle to move from mud to mathttps://indianexpress.com/photos/sports-gallery/mitti-ka-sher-tracing-jassa-patti-struggle-to-move-from-mud-to-mat-5302839/

Mitti ka Sher: Tracing wrestler Jassa Patti’s struggle to move from mud to mat

Jaskanwar was born in 1993, when insurgency was ebbing. But his teenage years were spent in a Punjab in the grip of a drug problem. The boy and the menace also crossed each other’s path.

Mitti ka Sher: Tracing Jassa Patti's struggle to move from mud to mat

Over the course of the last four years that Jaskanwar Singh Gill alias ‘Jassa Patti’, the heavyweight from Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, has become India’s unofficial No. 1 dangal wrestler, all manners of sobriquets have been used to describe him — from ‘Modern day Dara Singh’ to ‘Virat Kohli of Mud Wrestling’. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

READ | Mitti ka Sher: Jassa Patti or Jaskanwar Singh Gill?

Mitti ka Sher: Tracing Jassa Patti's struggle to move from mud to mat

The mat and mud, he further explains, are very different. According to him, it’s like T20 and Test cricket — you need explosiveness in one to expend all energy in six minutes (the mat), and patience and endurance to last 20-30 minutes in the other (the mud). (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

READ | Mitti ka Sher: Jassa Patti or Jaskanwar Singh Gill?

Mitti ka Sher: Tracing Jassa Patti's struggle to move from mud to mat

Jaskanwar was born in 1993, when insurgency was ebbing. But his teenage years were spent in a Punjab in the grip of a drug problem. The boy and the menace also crossed each other’s path. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

READ | Mitti ka Sher: Jassa Patti or Jaskanwar Singh Gill?

Mitti ka Sher: Tracing Jassa Patti's struggle to move from mud to mat

Courtesy Patti, the headgear is cool, especially in Punjab. His followers can only aspire to have those patts and patkhani, but they can always tie a parna like him. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

READ | Mitti ka Sher: Jassa Patti or Jaskanwar Singh Gill?

Mitti ka Sher: Tracing Jassa Patti's struggle to move from mud to mat

International wrestling rules allow players to wear headgear that doesn’t harm opponents during bouts. But the referee’s insistence that Jaskanwar tie his hair like women competitors, and the Sikh wrestler’s refusal citing religious beliefs, resulted in a walkover for his first-round rival. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

READ | Mitti ka Sher: Jassa Patti or Jaskanwar Singh Gill?

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