Here’s Sallu’s langot man

rupchand mane, tailor of salman khan's langot

Rupchand Mane, the tailor who stitched Salman Khan’s langot in Sultan, talks to SANGEETA YADAV about his life journey which began as a wrestler and then being a driver and now a tailor 

Ever since the trailer of movie Sultan released, there was talk of Salman Khan and his brief langot. The talk around his briefs peaked when Sallu made the infamous remark about feeling like a rape victim on wearing the langot. What mattered most to him was the design of langot as he didn’t want to look vulgar.

The langot created the same buzz as was created for the movie Maine Pyaar Kiya poster when Salman went gone shirtless as a teenager. For Sultan, there were catcalls when Bhai step into the wrestling arena in a langot. Sultan’s director Ali Abbaz Zafar said that if he were ever to do an auction of the langot, the price would not be less than a crore.

The man behind this famed langot is a Mumbai-based wrestler-turned-driver-turned-tailor Rupchand Mane. He stitched 15 langots for Bhai.

“I was called by one of the wrestlers who has acted with Salman bhai’s film. I didn’t know that I had to stitch the langots for the star. They briefed me about what kind of langot they were looking for. I prepared four samples in cotton but they were rejected. I was told later that they didn’t fit Salman bhai properly. The designers wanted a stronger material which would look good on screen. A costume designer sourced out a stretchable material for me,” Mane recalls.

It was only when he was called in to take the measurements that 51-year-old Mane realised that the langots were for Salman Khan.

“I was so star-struck but managed to take the measurements somehow. A few days later, I went to him with the samples and they were a perfect fit. I was asked to make 15 others just like the sample. I was thrilled that I had got the opportunity to stitch a langot for Salman bhai and that he carried it off so well in the movie. It looks so decent,” Mane says, adding that he has a photo with Salman in the langot.

An overwhelmed Mane didn’t want to charge anything for his work. But his friends persuaded him otherwise.

“I usually charge Rs 500 for a langot but didn’t know what to charge Bhai. One of the wrestlers said to me: ‘Salman bhai ka langot silney ja rahey ho, thhoda zyada paisa le lo, jaise Rs 10,001’. I told costume designer Tanuja that ‘Salman toh baar baar langot nahi pehnega. Ek hi baar pehnega toh humko bhi iss baat ki khushi honi chaiye ki hamara banaya hua langot itney bade star ne film mein pehna’. Finally the deal was locked at Rs 1,000 per langot,” Mane who earned Rs 14,000 for 15 langots, with one getting rejected.

Over the years, langots worn by wrestlers have evolved. The director wanted Mane to keep that in mind.

“The difference between a traditional langot and what Salman has worn is that instead of using naadaa, I used elastic; stretchable material instead of cotton. The langot is worn inside and the jhangiya (shorts) over it.  The stitching of these two clothing is very technical. If the cut is wrong, one will have to start from scratch,” Mane, once a wrestler himself, explains.

He used to wrestle in his village at Satara in Maharashtra. When his sons Vaibhav and Akshay were born,  he used to take them to the akhada in Bandra. His sons have participated in inter-school level championship. He feels proud that they are living his dream.

“My elder son Vaibhav (22) is pursuing Bachelor in Arts from PKD College of Education in Panvel. He is a National level wrestler and the winner of the All-India University Championship last year. He only comes home to have dinner and rushes to the akhada to sleep there so that he can wake up at 5 am and practice. My younger son used to wrestle too but has given it up since he is pursuing engineering from Fr Agnel’s College of Engineering, Bandra,” Mane tells you.

Though a wrestler and a driver, Mane has been switching langots for the past two years for wrestlers. His four brothers are tailors by profession. His wife too switched clothes for women. It was his curiosity to learn the technique of switching langots that made him a tailor.

“There are only a handful of people who stitch langots. Coming from the same community, I felt that there was a need to make modern langots which look decent and feel comfortable. So I started tailoring. Initially, I wasted a lot of material to understand the skill, but now I have got a hang of it. Almost all wrestlers wear langots made by me,” Mane says with pride.

(The article got published in the Pioneer Newspaper – )


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