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Athletics

When Milkha Singh took only Re 1 for his biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Milkha Singh exemplified what he truly stood for by his words and actions throughout his eventful life

The Real and Reel Milkha Singh
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The Real and Reel Milkha Singh
By

C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 19 Jun 2021 2:43 PM GMT

One of the few biopics of Bollywood that was a resounding success was 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'. There was no doubt about how the movie managed to capture one man's journey in the field of athletics. Right from the acting, to the music and the narration of events, everything about it was perfect. There is however something else that went undercover amidst all the glitz and the glamour. Something that defines what Milkha Singh really stood for.

At a time when several other notable individuals signed away their biopic rights from large sums of money, one would have expected him to get a large monetary package as well. Milkha Singh, being the gracious gentleman that he is, only took Re 1 for the film and signing away of his biopic rights to Director Rakesh Mehra. This was no ordinary Re 1 coin or a note. It was a specially sourced currency note that was printed all the way back in 1958. That year also happened to be the first time India won a Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games with Milkha Singh leading the way in Athletics.

Milkha Singh in his later years

The reason why the 'Flying Sikh' chose to go for no monetary payout is that he wanted the film to be more than just a business and money-making opportunity. He wished for it to inspire youngsters when it came to taking up sports and in particular athletics as a pursuit. As for the Re 1 currency note, it was more of a souvenir for him rather than a monetary lump sum.

His thought process was on a completely different tangent and this is exactly one of the many ways which defined his entire demeanor. A man who wished to define his passion for running through simple ways.


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