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शनिवार, मार्च 20, 2010

‘Bhag Milkha Bhag’ – Movie on Flying Sikh’s life

Legendary athlete Milkha Singh’s inspiring life – the triumphant spirit of the man and his tale of winning the world despite daunting odds – will soon be seen on the silver screen.

“Rang De Basanti” fame filmmaker Rakeysh Omparkash Mehra is all set to make a film “Bhag Milkha Bhag,” recounting the stimulating story of Milkha Singh, who is popularly known as Flying Sikh all across the world.

“‘Bhag Milkha Bhag’ is not about any particular sport, trophies or medals, but it is about the fire that Milkha Singh had. I just want to spread this fire across the world and want people to learn from it,” Mehra, who was in Chandigarh along with Milkha Singh and lyricist Prasoon Joshi to announce the making of the film, said Saturday.

One rupee. That's the princely sum for which Milkha Singh - The Flying Sikh - has handed over his life story to filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

Milkha has his reasons for turning down the eight-figure sum offered to him. 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 him.

Singh says, "This is the year of the Commonwealth Games. I feel sad to say that 52 years after I won a 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.

And who among the Bollywood A-listers could best essay him on screen? Milkha is non-committal, saying the cast has not been finalised. But the buzz is that it could be 'Khiladi' Akshay Kumar, the most sporty of our heroes with Deepika Padukone, with her special badminton genes, playing the female lead.

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......by TOI

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