Independent India's first Mr.Universe and one of the most popular Indian bodybuilder of all time Manohar Aich died in Kolkata at the age of 104. Lovingly known as 'Pocket Hercules' Aich rose to fame after winning the Mr.Universe title in 1952. Born in 1912 in Bangladesh's Tipperah District in a remote village named Dhamti, Aich was interested in strength related sports such as wrestling and weight-lifting since childhood.

Due to his physique, he was highly praised by British RAF officials. While part of the RAF, Aich was imprisoned for slapping a British officer in protest at the officer's remarks in favour of colonial oppression. Aich began his weight training seriously while in jail. He would spend hours in physical exercises. Observing his knack in physical culture, the jail authorities arranged a special diet for him and after that there was no looking back.

In the world of bodybuilding which is being dominated by giant figures, for Aich with a height of under 5 feet it was very difficult to make a mark. In 1950, at the age of 36, Aich won the Mr.Hercules contest. In 1951 he stood second in the Mr.Universe contest. In 1952 he was placed first in the Pro-Short division of the NABBA Mr.Universe. In 1955 he stood third in the Mr.Universe contest. In 1960 he stood fourth in the Mr.Universe contest at the age of 46 years. He did many bodybuilding shows from 1960. He performed his last show in 2003 at the age of 89.

Mourning his death West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said "Today at the age of 104 'Biswashree' (Mr.Universe) Manohar Aich passed away. An era has come to an end". In 2015, he was given the Banga Bibhushan Award by the West Bengal Government. Eminent personalities from all backgrounds paid their tributes to former Mr.Universe. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje tweeted "Deeply saddened by the demise of veteran bodybuilder & inspirational personality Manohar Aich. #RIP #PocketHercules".

From a coconut vendor at Sealdah station to world acclaim bodybuilder, Manohar Aich was truly a legend the world will never forget.The 4’10” pocket Hercules will be an inspiration for generations to come.