Bhaag Milkha Bhaag! This is a movie which is out today and the title literally translates to Run, Milkha, Run. I will tell you about the movie which tells the story of one of India’s’ sporting heroes Milkha Singh shortly but first I wanted to share with you my experience of meeting someone on my ‘to meet before I die’ list…
In the weekend in which I am attempting to run Race For Life I need to share with you my experience of meeting one of my biggest inspirations last week. The most amazing Farhan Akhtar. Farhan was in town last week with the team of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag to promote the movie and there is definitely no escaping it as I have seen interviews with all the actors everywhere whether it is on Indian channels or on mainstream channels such as Sky News – and what a proud moment it is to be in the gym and seeing Farhan’s ripped body on the screens in front of me.. if that’s not motivation to run I don’t know what is.
Now, I may write for Eastern Eye but I don’t normally attend these functions but when Asjad Nazir asked me to attend on his behalf it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss! I mean meeting the person who’s writing and work for Men Against Rape & Discrimination has inspired me no end, well, I just couldn’t say no.
So off I went to the venue last week, notebook and pen ready. I had even taken a column with me which was entitled ‘An Ode To Farhan Akhtar’ which had described my inspirations in life of which me is one.. and he actually signed it! And he took a copy! It was just amazing! I wonder if he actually read it? I told him that he was one of my biggest inspirations and I think he probably just thought I was a stalker but getting a picture with him and actually having a conversation with him (and the worlds number 1 fashion icon Sonam Kapoor) was just incredible. I was actually very calm during the whole process – I thought I was be jumping up and down off the walls and everything but I remained calm.. Listening to him speak in his inimitable tone of voice. I was just mesmerised, in awe… I just couldn’t believe he was in front of me.. I even got to ask him a question which was how he identified his life with Milkhas’ – Milkha was a great inspiration Farhan said. I had just met mine and I have to thank Asjad Nazir for that day – without him it would never have been possible. Thank you.
Now about the movie…
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag tells the incredible true-life story of Milkha Singh, aka ‘The Flying Sikh’, who is forever enshrined in India’s psyche as one of the country’s most loved and esteemed sporting heroes. Many recall Milkha Singh as a world champion in the 400 meters, who infamously lost the penultimate race of his life – the 400 meters final at the Rome Olympics – but won in life.
Farhan said that that the Sikh community feel great that there is a film made about their biggest hero and that the story had been told on a completely human level but it wasn’t all about a ‘Sikh man’ it was about a man who had done these amazing things and he just happens to belong to the sikh community. Farhan said that Sonam was very well cast in the movie and plays a catalyst in Milkha Singhs life; she’s a happy influence. When asked if he would do anything differently Farhan said that Rakeysh Mehra was the right person to have directed the film. Which for me says it all..
Milkha Singh’s life is a portrait of professional triumph over personal tragedy. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag attempts to understand a catastrophic loss that was deemed a sure victory and explores through the darkness of disgrace Milkha Singh’s redemption and catharsis that came when he confronted his past. This iridescent tale winds through the plagues of a bloody civil war where Milkha’s family were brutally killed during the violent and tumultuous India-Pakistan Partition era resulting in a lost childhood, homelessness, to a life of petty crime and victories hard won and easily lost.
The film is out today and I wish Farhan and the team every success which I am sure it doesn’t need and I cannot wait to see it!