‘Bhag Milkha Bhag’-an incredibly crafted, sheer real and gritty biopic of a living legend- Milkha Singh. A movie which is running to the packed house in the country, has given a chance to the common people from every walk of life, to experience the real life of “the legend” on a reel screen.
This taut and gripping movie portrays the indomitable spirit of a deeply wounded young chap under unimaginable harrowing circumstances. It spontaneously depicts that how the fighter Milkha Singh soldiered on crushing all the invincible hurdles under his feet.
Thanks to Rakeys Om Prakash Mehra, the director of this movie and of course Farhan Akhtar who just lived this role beyond imagination, that from now onwards no school going student will have to regurgitate his name against his sport and the title conferred on him.
Although there are endless books of biography, autobiography of legendary sports persons available but a biopic makes a difference. The sound, visuals and emotions, becomes so lively and animated that they directly find a place in the conscious and subconscious in our mind. Probably that is why a man who has hardly turned the sports page of a newspaper or stepped into play ground, suddenly plunge into pondering about a person for whom - quality, morality, ethics, values, are the only assets.
Although we are celebrating and acknowledging the feat of Milkha Sing and himself which he has achieved years ago. But we know him by different names –Major Dhyan Chand, P.T. Usha, Kapil Dev, Vijay Amritraj and list goes on, who not only hoisted the Indian flag on foreign soil many times but also wrote a new definition of Honor and Dignity for themselves and the nation. They did it many times with flying colors, especially when the world looked upon us as a nation of snakes, jungles, naked sadhus and savages. They earned honor and respect from every corner of the world, even from those who despised them. But what kind of honor? .The honor which we, today weigh in the “taraazoo” of monetary gain and so called social standard or the one which simply means “ the courage to look into our own eyes without any shame and guilt despite of piling social stigma.”
If Major Dhayn Chand had created such honor and dignity, Milkha Sing gave them the wings of aggression and the legacy was carried on by contemporaries legends – Kapil dev, P.T. Usha , Sachin Tendulkar. This is still on.
Here I must quote Milkha Singh in his own words –
“Milkha Singh didn’t know anything about athletics before he started running in the army. But once he found out he didn’t settle for anything less than excellence. After coming back from the 1956 malbourne games I pledged to myself that I shall not rest till I have matched the Olympic record. I worked no stop in my pursuit of excellence. Buckets used to fill up with sweat, blood flowed from my nose and urine.I was on the death bed many times but kept pushing myself. Unfortunately I don’t see that commitment anymore.”(Times of India, Friday 19, 2013, page 16)
His word becomes more important and alarming in the time when, wee see dilution and subversion of sportsmanship in almost every discipline of games right from cricket to athletics. Fixing, spot fixing, and doping were alien concepts for such legends.
It was the inherent fire of self ignited honor and dignity which sailed major Dhyan Chand right from Amsterdam (1928) to Los Angles (1932) to Berlin (1936) Olympics. It was his indefatigable spirit which won him 3 gold medals in the Olympic on the trot.
After seeing this magical performance by the wizard of hockey, Hitler tried to lure him by offering the citizenship of Germany and other incentives. It is not easy to first distinguish and then choose between dignity and fame. But for him it was the honor which always stood first and firmly. So was for Milkha Singh.
Now lets’ get back to the movie- most of us must have watched this legendary movie, and couldn’t contain ourselves without flooding the Facebook wall with adjectives like – stunning , fantabulous , fabulous, out of the world , fantastic , and many more- associate with this movie. For few days, the movie and its story will remain in buzz and later on will fade away into the glitz of ever presented social pretensions and hoity -toity .
But there is an essential question which must legitimately and reasonably rise in every mind irrespective of age bar that what makes such legends like Milkha Singh , Pan Singh Tomer, Major Dhayn Chand P.T. Usha way different from us . The answer lies in whether we choose stairs over lift to reach 13th floor or not..