For me, the film ‘Bhaag Milka Bhaag‘, was a journey of life. And I am really honoured that I got the opportunity to write a film on Milkha Singh.
I had met him and his wife Nirmal two months ago in Delhi and we had a long chat, remembering the times spend during the writing of the film. He was 92 but both he and his wife had no regrets of any kind. He would tell me ab toh aur jeevan jeena hai (I have more to live).
He was talking about Fauja Singh, who is a 110-year-old former marathon runner. He used to always look forward in life and I liked that spirit in him. He never complained that I am old now and have such problems. Instead, he looked at life very positively, which was so inspiring. As you know, I have captured him in my songs too–from his romantic side to his hard work in sport.
Initially, when I met him for the film, he would speak about his sports journey and achievements. I told him that that is available and I can read it and that I wanted to know about his personal life, relationships. I wanted to know what people don’t know. People know what he had become but they didn’t know how he became what he became. I am interested in that. I wanted to know what he went through–the entire process of becoming Milkha Singh.
In the beginning, he did not speak much but slowly, after he started trusting me, and I almost became a family member, he opened up. There are some episodes of his life which are in the film and there are some which will always be in my heart.
One rupee as royalty
You should understand the sentiment behind it. He wanted that a film be made on his life. He had that desire in him and he told me that youngsters can learn from my life and that is why he cooperated with me. He wanted people to know his story and wanted his entire struggle to come in front of them.
Songs and his personality.
I will always cherish the time that I spent with him. I consider myself fortunate that I got the opportunity to write this film and explore the life of Milkha Singh. I have tried to explore every side of him. He was a diehard romantic and you see it in ‘Mera Yaar’ and at the same time his spirit and determination through songs like ‘Zinda’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha’ or the fun side of him in ‘Ghul Mil’ and ‘Havan Karenge’. All of them captured various parts of his personality. The entire team of ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ will cherish this journey. I can talk on behalf of all of them. Farhan, Rakeysh, Shankar, Ehsan, Loy–all of us used to talk about his spirit, he was very infectious. His laughter will always remain with me.