Among the many viral videos doing the rounds of Facebook, the story of this young body builder and his wife from a village in Andhra Pradesh and their struggles have been bringing smiles to the faces of many on social media.
23-year-old K Sudheer from Balpanoor recently won two medals - a silver and a bronze- in the men's body building (70 kg) and men's physique- category A groups at an international body building championship held in Ludhiana, Punjab. This is his first major achievement so far.
A video of a short interview with Sudheer and his wife Aparna, shortly after he won the medals, was posted online by a Facebook user earlier this week.
In the three-minute video by fitness enthusiast Nipun Agarwal, Sudheer and his wife talk about their win, their toils and even their relationship.
The video has since gone viral, with the post getting over 84,000 shares, with congratulations pouring in from all over. What perhaps connects with viewers is that it is a story of hope against odds, a story that has been told many times in different ways but still hasn't lost its charm.
Here is the YouTube video. (You can also watch the viral video on Facebook here.)
"I never knew that video would go viral. Honestly, I had a tough time recalling what video you were talking about. It's so overwhelming to hear that," Sudheer tells TNM.
On struggles and success
Sudheer says that the path to his success was a tough one.
"When I first took up bodybuilding as a career in 2015 after giving up my studies, I didn't know how to go about it. But after winning a gold medal in a district level competition, I promised myself that I will continue to become a body builder and will represent India," he states.
While he was determined to achieve his goal, his parents however did not believe in his dreams.
He recalls, "After winning the gold medal, which I did without following a proper diet, I took a loan of Rs 10,000. I struggled to repay it as my parents thoroughly refused to help me. But that never stopped me. I continued to look for financial help from others and got the training online."
Sudheer now trains online under his coach Harry Sandhu from Australia.
On the big win
Winning not one but two medals overwhelmed Sudheer at first, but has given him a boost to pursue his passion more strongly than even before.
"My coach asked me 'Why don't you take part in the competition?' And I did hesitantly. I'm really overwhelmed with my success," he says.
"I am very young and want to accomplish a lot in life, like partaking in all the international sporting events. I have dedicated myself to it, and I'm glad that my wife is also supportive of my career," he adds.
On finding love
In one of those delicate moments in the now viral video, Sudheer's wife Aparna breaks down as she talks about her husband, who comes from a small village, making it big on international level.
The duo were schoolmates and had been seeing each other for eight months when they decided to tie the knot. They got married on January 18, against the wishes of Aparna's parents.
"There was opposition from my wife's family because I didn't have a proper job and a stable career. However, she stood my side and we got married," he says.
On hopes of a brighter future
Sudheer aspires to achieve many more titles and carve a name for himself in professional bodybuilding.
However, he laments about his economic constraints and hopes to get help from the government.
"I work as a body building trainer and my salary is Rs 15,000. But I require Rs 30,000 a month to continue a proper diet since bodybuilding requires a strict diet and regimen. It would be great if the government helps me in accomplishing my dreams," he says.