Lion and Panther in London

The Sensation of the Wrestling World

Exclusive Engagement of India’s Catch-as-Catch-Can Champions.

Genuine Challengers of the Universe.

All Corners.  Any Nationality.  No One Barred.


Champion undefeated wrestler of India, winner of over 200 legitimate matches.

His brother, Champion of Lahore,


(These wrestlers are both British subjects.)

£5 will be presented to any competitor, no matter what nationality, whom any member of the team fails to throw in five minutes.

Gama, the Lion of the Punjab, will attempt to throw any three men, without restriction as to weight, in 30 minutes, any night during this engagement, and competitors are asked to present themselves, either publically or through the management.



Gama the Great is bored.  Imam translates the newspaper notice as best he can while his brother slumps in the wingback chair.  On the table between them rests a rose marble chess board, frozen in play.  Rain drops wriggle down the windowpane.  It is a mild June in 1910 and their seventh day in London without a single challenge.

Their tour manager, Mr. Benjamin, lured them here from Lahore, promising furious bouts under calcium lights, their names in every newspaper that matters.  But the very champions who used to thump their chests and flex their backs for photos are now staying indoors, as if they have ironing to do.  Not a word from Benjamin “Doc” Roller or Strangler Lewis, not from the Swede Jon Lemm or the whole fleet of Japanese fresh from Tokyo.

Every year in London, a world champion is crowned anew, one white man after the next, none of whom have wrestled a pehlwan.  They know nothing of Handsome Hasan or Kalloo or the giant Kikkar Singh, who once uprooted an acacia tree bare-handed, just because it was disrupting the view from his window.  Gama has defeated them all, and more, but how is he to be Champion of the World if this half of the world is in hiding?

This is an excerpt from a story which appears in Aerogrammes

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