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Bollywood took to social media to pay tribute to India’s Flying Sikh Milkha Singh, who died on June 18. Actor Farhan Akhtar, who played Singh in the Bollwyood film ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ led the condolence messages with a touching ode to the late sportsman. “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,” wrote Akhtar.
Image Credit: Instagram.com/faroutakhtar
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The actor continued: “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. 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 a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of humility in success. I love you with all my heart.”
Image Credit: Supplied picture
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Akhtar’s girlfriend, Shibani Dandekar also reminisced about meeting Singh. “One of the greatest memories I have is meeting Milkha ji and his lovely family (just the one time) and eating aloo parathas [potato flatbread] with lots of butter (of course) in his home. He told us stories from his days… and what incredible stories they were … the journey of a man with tremendous courage, fighting spirit, and perseverance. Through all the hardship he never lost the qualities that made him such a great human and I found myself instantly drawn to him.. I loved him immediately. He had such a warm heart, was such a gentle soul and had this way of lighting up a room with his infectious energy. He really is the true champion that this country knows him as but I learnt that he is also one of the kindest people this world has ever had ..there will never be another like you Milkha ji .. will miss your beautiful laugh .. hope you are dancing in the clouds with Nirmal aunty .. you will both greatly missed. Love you.”
Image Credit: Instagram.com/shibanidandekar
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Sonam Kapoor, who was the lead actress in ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ paid tribute to the sprinter in her Instagram Stories. “The Flying Sikh got his wings. Rest in power Milkha Singh.” Kapoor also posted a picture of herself with the late sportsman.
Image Credit: Instagram.com/sonamkapoor
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Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan also paid ode to Singh, writing: “In grief .. Milkha Singh passes away .. the pride of India .. a great athlete .. a greater human. Prayers.”
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Vicky Kaushal posted an image of Singh on his Instagram story as a mark of tribute. The legendary Indian sprinter died after month long battle with COVID-19, according to a family spokesperson.
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South Indian actor Mohanlal also paid tribute to the legend, posting a message on Twitter saying: “A great athlete and a great human. Milkha Singhji, you were an inspiration to many! Rest in Peace.”
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Kangana Ranaut also posted a tribute to Singh, posting a monochrome image of him from his early years as a sprinter. Milkha died at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, where he was being treated for COVID-related complications. Six days before he passed away, his wife, Nirmal, had died on June 13. A former India volleyball captain, she was 85, and she too succumbed to COVID and related complications.
Image Credit: IANS
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While several sporting legends, from Harsha Bhogle to Yuvraj Singh led tributes to Singh, Captain Amarinder Singh, in his capacity as the Chief Minister of Punjab, has ordered a state funeral for the late athlete. “Have directed that Late Milkha Singh Ji will be given a State Funeral by our Government. Also Punjab will observe one day of State mourning as a mark of respect to the departed legend,” he posted.
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives