Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has not only directed a biopic on legendary athlete Milkha Singh, but also developed a bond that went beyond movie collaboration. After the 91-year-old sprint icon passed away on June 18, Mehra paid tribute to Singh with a social media post featuring a black-and-white photo of the athlete with a special message dedicated to him.
“Milkha Sir – you were! you are! you always will be! Your grit, your grace and your gentleness, have not only enriched my life but that of millions across the globe and your light will continue to shine upon us for infinity. I am so fortunate to have met you and Nimmi aunty, who showered me with her love like a mother. Thank you for empowering us in telling your story to the world,” his message read.
Farhan Akhtar’s cinematic portrayal of Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) is widely regarded, amongst fans and critiques alike, as one of the best acting performances of all time. The film earned several accolades and received an overwhelming response upon its release. Farhan, who painstakingly transformed himself to portray the life of Singh, paid an emotional tribute to the Flying Sikh, who died on Friday after a month-long battle with COVID-19.
Farhan’s girlfriend, actor-singer Shibani Dandekar also took to her Instagram account to share throwback photos with Milkha Singh and his family.