‘Portraying [Milkha Singh] in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag…made me understand that no matter what hand life deals you, it is up to you to decide if you’re just going to take part in the game, or choose to win. Milkha Singh-ji chose to win. And in doing so…he defined his own destiny.’-Farhan Akhtar
‘For me [Milkha Singh] was…is…and always will be an inspiration’-Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
The inspiring story of an extraordinary man who refused to be outpaced by life or circumstances
Milkha Singh a stellar Indian athlete, who was the first ever Indian to win an individual athletics gold medal at Commonwealth Games. His victory led him to be called as the 'The Flying Sikh' from then onwards. In The Race of My Life, he tells about moving story of his life which is filled with tragedy, unhappiness, victory, celebration and above all lots of sports.
As a boy, he narrowly escaped death during partition, during which he witnessed the murder of his parents, brothers and sister. Later he walked miles to reach to Delhi and became a juvenile delinquent who stole and outran the police. However he went on to join army where he ran his very first race to win special privileges for himself (a daily glass of milk). After that first race, Milkha Singh became an athlete by default.
The famous film-maker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who has recently released a film on the life of Milkha Singh named 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' has contributed a foreword for The Race of My Life: An Autobiography. The film-maker remarks that "My journey into his life through the film, 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag', made me understand how devastating this loss was for him. However, Milkha Singh's extraordinary resilience made him step out of the darkness of failure and find redemption. But his catharsis was not easy, for Milkha had to face his inner demons and deepest fears to come through as a winner, in life."
Simple, yet ambitious; famous, yet grounded; temptations all around him, yet remaining celibate so he could focus on racing; a rich and beautiful girl who was desperate for him, yet fighting the world to marry his lady love, Nimmi-even as the on-field drama found its way into his personal life, Milkha was a man who defined his own destiny. And yet, for a man whose life was dominated by sports, he continues to remain disillusioned with the way sports is run... Powerful and gripping, The Race of My Life documents the journey of an impoverished refugee who rose to become one of the most towering figures in Indian sports.
About the Author :
Milkha Singh was born in 1932 in undivided India, he joined the army in 1951. Arguably, India's best male athlete, he received the Padma Shri at the height of his career in 1958. Although he stopped participating in competitive events in the early 1960s, he has dedicated his life to sports. He retired as Director of Sports in the Punjab Ministry of Education.
He also established the Milkha Charitable Trust in 2003 in Chandigarh to help poor and needy sportsperson and their families. The Farhan Akhtar-starrer, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, is a biographical film about Milkha Singh's early life and career. He has penned down his life story in his autobiography called The Race Of My Life: An Autobiography.
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