Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, who portrayed legendary sprinter Milkha Singh in his biopic ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ in 2013, paid tribute to the sports icon, saying he loves him with all his heart and the athlete would always be alive.
Singh died due to post-COVID complications at the age of 91 at Chandigarh’s PGIMER hospital on Friday night. He had lost his wife Nirmal Kaur, a former national volleyball player, last week.
Akhtar shared a picture of himself and the athlete on twitter and wrote: “Dearest Milkha ji, a part of me is still refusing to accept that you are no more. Maybe it’s the stubborn side I inherited from you.. the side that when it sets it’s mind on something, just never gives up and the truth is that you will always be alive. Because you were more than a large hearted, loving, warm, down to earth man. You represented an idea. You represented a dream. You represented (to use your own words) how hard work, honesty and determination can lift a person off his knees and get him to touch the sky.”
The actor further said that the sports icon was a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of humility in success.
“You have touched all our lives. For those who knew you as a father and a friend, it was a blessing. For those who didn’t, your story was as a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of humility in success. I love you with all my heart,” he added.
Milkha Singh had won four gold medals in Asian Games. The fourth-place finish in the 400m final at the 1960 Rome Olympics was one of the headlines of his career. He represented the country in the three Olympics between 1956 and 1964.
The sprinter was conferred with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his sporting achievements. He is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.