‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ source material was originally written in Gurmukhi, reveals Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra

Filmmaker Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, who is known for films such as ‘Rang De Basanti, ‘Delhi 6’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, recently revealed that he got the inspiration for the sports biopic ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ from Milkha Singh’s autobiography which was written in Gurmukhi.

Mehra was so much inspired after reading the autobiography that he took a flight after a few days and landed in Chandigarh to meet the legend.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the making of the film, Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra said, “‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ came to me quite unexpectedly. I chanced upon an autobiography of the legendary Milkha Singh, written in Gurmukhi. So, my uncle read it as he knew (to read) Gurmukhi. I didn’t know Gurmukhi. I was so excited that I took a flight after a few days and landed in Chandigarh to meet Milkha Singha.

Celebrating the heroic tale of Milkha Singh, the film deep dived into his life, essaying the journey from childhood in Pakistan pre-partition to receiving the title of ‘The Flying Sikh’ for his speed and zeal, setting numerous records and innumerable achievements against the backdrop of the British Raj.

The director further said in a video with IMDb, “What really stunned me was that Milkha Singh was 12 years old and witnessed the massacre of his parents, his brothers, his sister, uncle, cousin brothers and 2000 people in the village. This unfortunate incident happened during the partition of India in 1947. While millions were celebrating the Independence of India from the British Raj, millions were also suffering from the partition”.

“The 12-year-old Milkha was one of them. Having lost everything and everybody, he jumped on a train, on the rooftop and landed in Delhi in a refugee camp where he met his long-lost sister. And then went on to join the Indian Army as he grew up and created the National record that stood for 60 years,” the director concluded.

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