Legendary athlete Milkha Singh who was often known as ‘Flying Singh’ passed away due to COVID19 related complications on Friday in Chandigarh. B-Town Actor Farhan Akhtar, who played Milka Singh in legendary athlete’s biopic,’ Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, has penned an emotional note on the iconic athlete’s death.
Akhtar shared a photo with Milkha Singh and wrote, “Dearest Milkha ji, A part of me is still refusing to accept that you are no more. Maybe it’s the stubborn side I inherited from you.. the side that when it sets its mind on something, just never gives up. And the truth is that you will always be alive. Because you were more than a large-hearted, loving, warm, down to earth man. You represented an idea. You represented a dream. You represented (to use your own words) how hard work, honesty and determination can lift a person off his knees and get him to touch the sky.”
He further added, “You have touched all our lives. For those who knew you as a father and a friend, it was a blessing. For those who didn’t, your story was as a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of humility in success. I love you with all my heart.”
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‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ is a 2013 Indian biographical sports drama film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra from a script written by Prasoon Joshi. The story is based on the life of legendary Indian Sprinter Milkha Singh, who was a Commonwealth Champion and x2 400m Asian champion, and an Olympian.
The movie that stars Farhan Akhtar in the titular role, was declared ‘super hit’ at the box office and is the sixth highest-grossing 2013 Bollywood film worldwide. The movie also earned accolades from critics.
Milkha Singh was also impressed with Farhan’s portrayal of him in the movie. “He is exactly how I wanted to see myself on screen. Full credit to (director) Rakeysh Mehra for seeing me in Farhan. Many actors, including Akshay Kumar, wanted to play Milkha Singh. But Farhan has done ‘kamaal’. He has replicated me on screen. He even resembles me. The body language and discipline that Farhan adopted to play me… yeh koi maamooli baat nahin hai (it was not easy),” he had said in an interview upon the movie’s release.
The legendary athlete and his daughter, Sonia Sanwalka, co-wrote his autobiography, titled ‘The Race of My Life’- the book that inspired ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.’ Singh sold the film rights for one rupee and inserted a clause stating that a share of the profits would be given to the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust which was founded in 2003 with the aim of assisting poor and needy sportspeople.
Singh’s wife and former Captain of the Indian Women National Volleyball team, Nirmal Milkha Singh succumbed to COVID-19 at the age of 85 on June 13.
(With ANI inputs)
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