From selling candies on train to becoming fitness trainer to Salman Khan and Aamir Khan: Rakesh Udiyar's story
Many of us wonder at times whether it is possible to turn dreams into reality. A few get lucky enough to see their dreams come true without much effort. However, it is not the end for those who do not get that success easily. There are people among us who prove that you do not always need to be born into it. You can also believe in yourself, turn it around, and make it big in life. The story of Rakesh Udiyar is a classic example of this. He began as a child labourer selling candies on a train, and he is now the trainer of two of the biggest stars of the country -- Aamir Khan and Salman Khan.
Rakesh's father was a contractor for Hamilton Cycles, and Rakesh was just five years old when his father suffered from a stroke. He belonged to a middle class family, one that had to make ends meet day by day. While speaking to Sportskeeda, Rakesh said,
After he suffered the stroke, we realised that all our money was being pumped into his medical treatment. We literally had no money left to even send me to school. We had to leave the house as we couldn’t pay rent, and (had to) move into the nearby slums. I began selling pepsi colas; these were not your actual cola bottles, but the small plastic strips. I used to sell them for Rs 2 apiece, and made around Rs 10 a day.
He further told Sportskeeda,
My brother started working at a tea stall and my mother got work at a house in Bandra. She worked with this lady named Bina Chablani. They were nice enough to give us some money to study in a Marathi convent school. I used to go to school till 1 pm, and then to the trains to sell the cola. This was enough money for my books.
Rakesh also worked in construction, which helped him stay fit. He got good at lifting heavy goods, making sure that he had a good physique. He then started working at a dhaba, and used to survive on the food provided by the dhaba owner. On a friend's recommendation, he joined as a sweeper at a gym. He told Kenfolios,
Fitness was my hobby, and at the gym, my hobby became my habit. I remember that, in 2001-2002, there was a boy who would come to exercise late at night. The gym would hardly be crowded at that point of time. He saw my enthusiasm, and I saw his interest, and I began to give him instructions. He liked my coaching so much that he asked the owner of my gym to promote me to the post of trainer from being a sweeper. That day was special, it changed my life.
Rakesh decided to enrol for an online certification course in Mumbai since he did not have any professional training. Becoming a certified fitness trainer helped him go to the United States and then Dubai, where he worked as a coach for five years. After he came back to India, one of his friends, who worked at Gold's Gym, recommended him to train a high profile client, who turned out to be none other than Arbaaz Khan. This was the beginning of Rakesh's journey in Bollywood.
He went on to train other celebrities such as Dia Mirza, Pulkit Samrat, Daizy Shah, and Kunal Kapoor. Working with Arbaaz Khan made him well acquainted with the entire Khan family. Rakesh got the opportunity to train Salman Khan for the movie 'Dabangg', after which Salman was so impressed that he always wanted Rakesh to be around for his weight training.
While speaking with Kenfolios about his journey from being Salman's trainer to Aamir Khan's, he said,
I was training some in Taj (the five star hotel in Mumbai) when Aamir Khan saw me. He was doing Dhoom 3 at that point of time. He took my number, and one fine day, I got a call from him asking me if I could train him for PK. I asked him to excuse me as I was training Salman. Later on, Bhai (Salman) called him (Aamir) and said that I was indeed training him, but in the end, we adjusted the dates.
Both Salman and Aamir coordinated with each other even while training for Sultan and Dangal. Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul Bhatt took over Aamir Khan's training when Rakesh had to leave to train Salman for Sultan. After Dangal, he has begun training Aamir for his upcoming film.
From living in poverty to training some of the most high profile celebrities, Rakesh has come a long way. He has become a brand in himself, and is one of the most sought after fitness trainers in the country.