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Farhan Akhtar Recalls First Meeting with Milkha Singh: We Jogged 400m, He had Childlike Innocence

Farhan Akhtar Recalls First Meeting with Milkha Singh: We Jogged 400m, He had Childlike Innocence

Farhan Akhtar describes his first meeting with Milkha Singh: 'I realised that behind the face of this very successful athlete is a man who is so grounded'.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is one of the most memorable films in Farhan AKhtar’s career, where he went out of his comfort zone to bring an iconic athlete alive on screen. His portrayal of Milkha Singh’s life and struggles was so authentic that it became impossible to differentiate between the actor and the character in the film.

The film fostered a stronger bond between the actor and the sprint icon, who passed away on June 18, saddening everyone associated with the film. Farhan recalled his first meeting with Milkha, at the training ground when he was preparing for the film.

“I remember when I started training for the film, I used to keep hearing that Milkha ji will be coming to Mumbai and I would have the opportunity to meet him. One morning when I went for my training, he had come to meet me on the training ground in a track-suit, I met him there for the first time. I still remember he told me, ‘Let’s jog as we speak rather than standing at one place’. We jogged 400m and at that time I understood his character. He had a childlike innocence," the actor told News18.

Farhan also recalled witnessing the excitement other people felt when they met The Flying Sikh who had made India proud. “I used to train at a place where the Mumbai Police candidates trained and when they saw Milkha ji, they were so excited. They came to take his blessings, he spent half an hour with the boys there. He had time for everyone. That is when I realised that behind the face of this very successful athlete is a man who is so grounded. I saw it with my own eyes and that has stayed with me ever since."

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first published:June 22, 2021, 10:44 IST