Intermediary Conclusions: From Thick to Thin
In beginning with a detailed description of a fairly commonplace, weekly dangal and moving, by stages and with progressive objectification, to a consideration of dangal types, organization, swagat, and nam kamana, I have made an effort to set the stage for what follows. In doing so I have not imposed my own categories of interpretation, but have tried to remain true to the wrestler’s own interpretive rubric.
The act of wrestling is the centerpiece of every dangal. As the nexus of the dangal, the wrestling event is what all other events are organized in relation to. As such, the art of wrestling—the skill involved—provides a definitive commentary on the affected preamble of dangal pomp, the ideology of wrestling as a way of life, and, by extension, on certain aspects of the Hindu ethos.
Where the pomp of the dangal builds the wrestler up to heroic proportions, the art of wrestling strips him down to the biomechanics of a singular geometry of movement. Outside of the dangal, and indeed as the wrestler affectedly enters the arena, one might say that a wrestler’s identity is pregnant with meaning. His body and its interpretations are a veritable poetics of strength and virtue. This condition is dramatically inverted when the wrestler actually begins to wrestle and the crowd falls silent. In a specific and temporary sense he is reduced, in the dangal, from texture to essence: from thick to thin.
In the following sections I will trace the biomechanics of this procedure.