For me the film ‘Bhaag Milka Bhaag’ was a journey of life. And I feel really honored that I got a chance to write a film on Milkha Singh. I met him and his wife Nirmal two months ago in Delhi and we had a long conversation reminiscing about the time we spent writing the film. He was 92 years old but both he and his wife had no remorse of any kind. He used to say me ab to aur life jeena hai (I have more to live for).
He was talking about Fauja Singh, a 110-year-old former marathon runner. He was always looking ahead in life and I loved that spirit in him. He never complained that I am old now and I have such problems. Instead, he looked at life very positively, which was very inspiring. As you know, I have captured her in my songs as well – from her romantic side to her hard work in sports.
Initially, when I met him for the film, he talked about his sports journey and achievements. I told him that it is available and I can read it and I want to know about his personal life, relationships. I wanted to know what people don’t know. People know what he had become, but did not know how he became. I am interested in this. I wanted to know what phase he went through – the whole process of becoming Milkha Singh.
Initially he did not speak much but gradually when he started trusting me and I became almost a member of the family, he spoke openly. There are some episodes of his life which are in the film and there are some that will remain in my heart forever.
As one rupee royalty you must understand the sentiment behind it. He wanted a film to be made on his life. He had that desire and told me that youth can learn from my life and that is why he supported me. He wanted people to know his story and wanted his entire struggle to come before him. Songs and their personalities. I will always cherish the time I spent with him. I consider myself lucky that I got a chance to write this film and explore the life of Milkha Singh. I have tried to explore every aspect of it. He was a staunch romantic and you see it in ‘Mera Yaar’ as well as his spirit and determination through songs like ‘Zinda’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha’ or his funny side in ‘Ghul Mil’ and ‘Havan Karenge’ . . All of them captured different parts of his personality. The entire team of ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ will cherish this journey. I can speak on behalf of all of them. Farhan, Rakesh, Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy – we all used to talk about his spirit, he was so infectious. His laughter will always be with me.
- Prasoon Joshi remembers Milkha Singh
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