Testing time for Test in Delhi...

Test shares a lighter moment with a fan in New Delhi. Photo: Sandeep Saxena.  

HE MAY be dwarfing over everyone but he is a humble giant. A self-confessed admirer of former Mr. Universe and one of the top Hollywood stars, Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the top-notch wrestlers of World Wrestling Entertainment, Test is bigger and as brawny as his idol. At a towering six feet six inches, this Canadian blond fighter sports a goatee and wears earrings. He weighs 280 pounds and rose on the firmament of WWE by throwing off his opponents in the ring.

At New Delhi's Lifespring store, which has meta-morphosed into selling health care products from beauty products, Test was pleased as a punch to give autographs to his young fans.

How was the ride from the hotel to South Extension, a parent asked. Ensconced comfortably at the counter, Test, with a big smile crossing his countenance, said, "You guys drive like nuts."

What does he eat, a puzzled female journalist, not able to reconcile that Test comes from the Earth and not Mars, asked. The gargantuan wrestler gazed at her, bringing a shiver down her spine, then answered in his in inimitable colloquial manner, "I eat children. Well, I eat eight times a day."

Are you a glutton, one tentatively asked him? "What do you mean? I have such a huge body. To be in top physical condition I need not only to pump iron but also eat heartily. My diet includes steak, fish and chicken. I enjoyed tucking into Indian food at Bukhara at Maurya Sheraton. I ate the tandoori food".

From a bouncer at inconsequential nightclubs to now being clubbed with leading wrestlers like Rock, he has come a long way? "Surely. But I don't live like a star. We work the entire year. It is a very laborious job. The last holiday I got was for only for four days. We get battered and bruised. Even our fights are meant to entertain our fans the nasty falls we receive aren't fake."

With children hovering all around him, Test cracked jokes, which would have put any adult to shame. But then he has such a huge fan following among kids that nobody was taking his jokes seriously.

Before leaving him in his own world of fame, fights and food, one asked: How much time does he devote in the gym? Says Test, "I pump iron two hours a day. I start with 2000 pounds. That is in the initial stage, then I do heavier weights."