Milkha Singh’s “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”

March 21st, 2010

Milkha Singh did not handed his life story for free to filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, he charged him a huge amount of money which Mehra have had never paid and will never pay to anyone in his life. The amount is rupee one….shocking isn’t it, but it’s true.

Milkha has his reasons for turning down the eight-figure sum offered to him. He said if ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ were to become a hit like ‘Rang De Basanti’, inspire our young people and result in India’s first Olympic track gold, that’s reward enough for me.
The Flying Sikh says, "This is the year of the Commonwealth Games. I feel sad to say that 52 years after I won gold in the Cardiff Games, India hasn’t been able to win a gold in track events."

Milkha is counting on Mehra’s biopic to inspire India’s youth with the story of an unassuming athlete who fought mind-numbing hardship and personal loss to win universal acclaim through sheer grit and determination.

Buzz is that it could be ‘Khiladi’ Akshay Kumar, the sportiest of our heroes and Deepika Padukone with her special badminton genes, playing the female lead.

Milkha Singh – Born in Lyallpur (now in Pakistan) in 1935, Milkha was a battle-hardened soul even before he let go of his childhood. As a 12-year-old during Partition, he was witness to the spine-chilling sight of his parents being butchered in front of his eyes. A few sobs later, his heart was in his mouth as he escaped the clutches of death, concealing himself among corpses on the train to India.

Recovery wasn’t easy but Milkha conquered the odds and before long, had won the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold in 1958 and famously lost the 400m bronze in the Rome Olympics by the proverbial coat of paint.

"I want Indian youth to understand what determination and purpose can achieve. If a Milkha, who didn’t have access to even basic necessities of life, can aim for the skies, why not others who’ve been provided the best of facilities?" he asks.

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