Sunday, March 21, 2010

Of unsung heroes and glamorous underachievers

The Sunday Times of India, March 21 2010 was not a paper I was looking forward to. Mumbai Indians, ‘my’ team simply because it is led by Sachin, had lost meekly to Royal Challengers Bangalore, and that was a reason enough. However, as I read through mechanically to ease off a lazy Sunday morning at home, there was one piece that caught my eye between the loud and glitzy IPL coverage

Milkha Singh, the flying Sikh, has decided to hand over his life story for a movie being made. All for a sum of One rupee. Sheer greatness. Here is a man who in 1947 saw his parents murdered in front of his eyes, hid among corpses in a train to escape to India, ran barefoot in initial competitions, and went on to win Asian Games, Commonwealth and later on an Olympics record. Today also, he stands tall as he runs a distress helpline. 20% of film’s profits will go there.
What a pity, icons like him are hardly known of amidst the shrill and glitz of things like IPL which, at best, is a murky money minded madness with a little bit of sport thrown in.

Hats off to this proud son of the soil, quite literally.

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