New Delhi [India], June 19 (ANI): Expressing his grief over the demise of Olympic sprinter Milkha Singh, Indian screenwriter and chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Prasoon Joshi, who wrote the script for Singh's iconic biopic 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag', penned a heartfelt tribute on Twitter.
On Saturday, the chairperson of CBFC took to his Twitter handle and shared two pictures featuring him with the legendary athlete.
Alongside the pictures, he wrote, "Milkha Ji ..Blessed to have known him, to have been touched by his life. Condolences to Jeev, Sonia, Kudrat and all in the family.#MilkhaSingh @JeevMilkhaSingh"
In a statement, he also recalled his meeting with the former Indian sprinter and said, "It was an honour to write Bhaag Mikha Bhaag which allowed me to explore Milkhaji's life and learn a lot from it. Had just met him and his wife Nirmal Ji a few months back in Delhi and at 92 he was still looking forward to life. A doer an optimist whose positivity will always resonate with me."
Sharing how Singh inspired him personally, Joshi said, "Milkha Ji was an inspiration for not only the film I wrote but in life; Unhone race lagayi . Woh mushkilon se bhaage nahi, daud lagai unke saath."
'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' is a 2013 Indian biographical sports drama film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra from a script written by Prasoon Joshi. The story is based on the life of legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh.
The movie that stars Farhan Akhtar in the titular role, was declared a super hit at the box office and is the sixth highest-grossing 2013 Bollywood film worldwide.
It bagged two National Film Awards in the categories- 'Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment' and for 'Best Choreography'. 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' accumulated major accolades under its belt at Filmfare Awards, IIFA and more.
What makes the movie more special is that the legendary athlete and his daughter, Sonia Sanwalka, co-wrote his autobiography, titled 'The Race of My Life'- the book that inspired 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.'
Singh sold the film rights for one rupee and inserted a clause stating that a share of the profits would be given to the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust which was founded in 2003 with the aim of assisting poor and needy sportspeople.
Earlier today, the bereaved family informed that the former Indian sprinter, also known as the Flying Sikh, had passed away due to post-COVID complications.
The former Indian sprinter had tested positive for COVID-19 last month and was in isolation at his home in Chandigarh before he was admitted to the ICU of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) hospital in Chandigarh.
The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold-medallist and 1958 Commonwealth Games champion. He is still the only Indian athlete to win Gold in the Asian and Commonwealth Championship. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his sporting achievements.
He is survived by one son and three daughters. His son Jeev Milkha Singh is also a renowned golfer. Singh's wife and former Captain of the Indian Women National Volleyball team, Nirmal Milkha Singh succumbed to COVID-19 at the age of 85 on June 13. (ANI)