An Indian man with a ‘beard of steel’ is attempting record breaking lifts, including people, with his facial hairs.
Ranjeet Singh, 35, from Ludhiana, in Punjab, northern India, has become famous in his city as the ‘beard man’.
His unique talents have seen him able to lift heavy objects with his beard, even a human being.
He said: ‘I do this to build a good name for my family, a name that will stay in the books forever. I am preparing for a Guinness Book of World Record and I will settle for nothing less. I want people to acknowledge my talent, nobody else in India can do this.’
Ranjeet first started lifting objects with his beard in 2010 after being inspired by stunts he’d seen on television and in local fairs.
He said: ‘I was really fascinated by the way people performed stunts at fairs and on television. I started researching stunts and I saw people doing all sorts across the world. I felt if they could do it then I could do it. I decided the same day that I will prepare myself for a Guinness Book of World Records and get my country a record in beard lifting.’
But Ranjeet’s passion became a joke among his peers. He was often ridiculed and friends and family tried to discourage him. But his passion continued to grow regardless.
‘People said my passion was a waste of time and no one will value it. They laughed at me and said I was wasting my energy.’
‘I wanted to prove them all wrong. I was determined to one day break a record.’
Ranjeet, a factory worker and earns just Rs 10,000 (£110) a month, started building his strength by watching techniques on the Internet and became confident when he lifted his first 5kg weight at work.
‘It was an amazing feeling. I picked small weights every day initially. My face used to get numb and there was a lot of pain. I was also scared of getting an infection or suffer an injury. But my will power got stronger with each day and gradually I got used to it and lifted heavier weights until I eventually lifted a 53kg boy.’
But Ranjeet has faced difficulties with his training.
‘I’ve never had any professional training,’ he said. ‘I just can’t afford it. It’s difficult for me to join a gym or buy weights because I have no money.’
‘I’ve had to ask people for favours and some people have been very kind.’
‘I just wish I could get the right help and better support so that I am able to take my talents to the next level.’
Ranjeet’s wife Manpreet Kaur, 32, a full time housewife, is concerned her husband will injure himself but she still supports his dream.
‘I get really scared when I see him perform but I support him at all times because I know how much he wants this and is doing something special and unique. I’ve not seen anyone else do anything like this and that’s what makes him different. I worry but I’m confident he will make it big one day.’
While his parents disapprove with his choice of sport; he’s an inspiration to his 10-year-old son Harmandeep Singh.
Harmandeep said: ‘My father is so strong. I feel so good when I see him doing something no else can.’
‘I am very proud of him.’
Ranjeet is currently preparing to lift a 64kg weight and break the existing beard lifting record of 63kg made by Antanas Kontrimas from Lithuania in 2013.
Ranjeet said: ‘I want my efforts to pay well. I have struggled a lot to get to this level and I can’t let it go to waste now. I will break this record and when I do it will be an honour for me and my country.’