Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Milkha Singh Charged Rs 1 For 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'

Haath ki lakeeron se zindagi nahin banti
Azm hamara bhi kuch hissa hai zindagi banaane mein

Milkha Singh sums up his quest for perfection in life-n-sport by his hunger for attaining 'Azm'. Singh was speaking to the media here at the Post Graduate College in Chandigarh where he handed over his coveted 1960 Rome Olympics spike shoes to Farhan Akhtar who is enacting reel life Flying Sikh in Rakeysh Mehra's 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'.

Singh's son Jeev Milkha Singh (internationally renowned golfer) was the one who coaxed his father to give a go-ahead to Rakeysh Mehra for making a film on his life. Milkha Singh said that he hasn't seen a film in the last sixty years while his son is an avid film buff and it was 'Rang De Basanti' that tilted his favour towards Mehra. Singh is taking a token amount of Rs 1 for the film. Milkha ji said that he sincerely hopes that the film will inspire youngsters to take up athletics with a tremenodus zeal and hopefully India will yet again have a sprinter who'll make the country proud.

Milkha Singh ji recounted how he was obsessed with practising. He used to run hundreds of rounds in the National Stadium. There have been occasions when he fainted due to over exhaustion and also had blood vomitings. Farhan has work cut out for him and surely its going to be a tall order. The spike shoes presented to Farhan was bought by Rakeysh Mehra and Vaicom 18, the producers of the film at a cost of Rs 24 lacs at an auction organised by Rahul Bose' NGO in Bombay a few days back. Milkha Singh took Farhan on a nearby race track and gave a few tips.

Rakeysh Mehra is a national level swimmer and cricket player. He recounted the stories that he had heard about Milkha Singh and how he got inspired. I asked Mr Mehra if Sonam Kapoor is playing Singh's wife Nirmal Kaur, who was the captain of Indian volleyball team...to which Rakeysh replied that some things are best left undisclosed and I ought to discover it for myself once the movie releases. I later read a news story that according to unconfirmed reports Sonam is playing Milkha's secret lover in the film.

Later in the day, I did a one on one joint interview with Milkha Singh ji. Farhan Akhtar and Rakeysh Mehra. Milkha ji admitted that he was given the title 'The Flying Sikh' during one of his visits to Pakistan. He said that his parents were murdered during the partition massacre and he had a lot of negativity for Pakistan but it was Indian prime minister Nehru who convinced him to represent India at an event in Pakistan. So, will Farhan be sporting a patka like Singh in the film? Is Farhan cut out for the rigorous physical demands of his character? Yes Akhtar admitted that such roles come an actor's way once in a life time. Or maybe twice.

The film will be shot in Punjab, Rome, Tokyo and Melbourne. According to unconfirmed reports, it should release in December 2012 or early next year. Seems like an expensive film. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara had a Hrithik Roshan to bank upon as far as the Box Office is concerned. It remains to be seen how Akhtar carries off a big film like this, on his own shoulders.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone


  1. HAPPY BDAY FARIDOON! KEEP ROCKING!!! from aurora and francesca.
    how do you feel? very happy to send to u our wishes.