The book ‘Wings of Fire’ had made me fall in love with the genre, Autobiography and its types. The missile man and 11th president of India (2002-07), Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has much to share in there about his life, dreams, success and failures. Then recently Yuvraj’s Test of my Life has stayed with me for long. It is also one of its kinds which gives you an insight on the success, failures, joys, pains and ordeals in life and what amount of strength and conviction is needed to come out victorious. Now the tale of our hero Sprinter, ‘The Race of My Life’ comes right from the horse’s mouth when the movie on his life ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ has already created a buzz all around. Mr. Milkha Singh’s life is nothing less than pure inspiration.
These Autobiographies have never failed to make an impression on me. These magnetic personalities have a charm, that they have acquired over a period of time. The courage to dream big and the passion to keep striving till they are achieved has been exemplary of their journeys’ called Life.
About and Around The Book
Book Cover: The picture of the ‘Flying Sikh’ in sepia complements the Title and its catchy enough to get an eye of the audience.
Book Title: Someone whose life has been dominated by running and has several awards, titles, achievements,records to his name because of Racing events, gets justified by the title ‘ The Race of my Life’.
In One statement: To be read to taste the flavor of hard-work, passion, conviction and lastly take the note of life that ‘Nothing is impossible’
Story: The hero’s life begins from the village, now in Pakistan where he led a life happy, carefree, running away from studies. However, one day the devastations reach his village at the time of the partition of the two countries, leaving him in a miserable state as his family gets massacred. He is only left with a brother in army and a sister Isher, who he had always been fond of. Destiny and the circumstances bring him to India where he wanders aimlessly under the shock of the turn of events in his life. The sister’s family gives him shelter but keeps him deprived of food and love.
The confused lad, who had been subjected to atrocities of life at a tender age, falls in the wrong company too for sometime. However, God was with him and he gets commissioned in the army as a beginner. Here comes the turning point of his life and a race considered seriously just for the sake of an extra glass of milk paves the way for him to do wonders later. From the small level competitions to national level, he keeps running and rising higher and higher. The more he wins, the more he aspires for the better.
The saga of records that he breaks and goes on to set new ones is worth admiration. I felt both awestruck and proud that in two years Mr. Milkha Singh won seventy seven races out of eighty races that he participated internationally. Throughout the book, he talks about the grace of God on him, his focus and his roots. He appreciates the change, the fame, the adulation that is bestowed on him but he never gets carried away by them. He remains grounded and remembers his roots always. He had some goals and principles in life which he never gave up on. If you have seen the movie, the memories revisit again and again. On the extra part, in the book he talks about his wife Nimmi and his children too. Also how he gave up his sportsman career after the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and later made a switch to a job that did give him opportunities to encourage, identify and train the sports talent in India. He wanted to do much but was not able to deliver up to the level because of the political governance of our country and I am glad he has pointed it out honestly.
Thumps Up: The simple words that bring out the story touch the heart. The honesty reflects while you turn the pages. It connects us well with his life and gives an insight into a life that deserves the read. It keeps you hooked from start to finish. The story does make a powerful impact. Truly inspiring for the people related to sports because it will make your spirits rise high and pump up your adrenaline. The best part is that Milkha Singh has given the deserving space to his trainers and the people who guided and trained him in his impeccable journey. The importance and impact of a trainer in one’s life descends as a realization after reading it. The books also brings out his patriotic fervor for the country but in the later part, it also says that government and its policies are absolutely doing nothing for the development of sportsmen and sportswomen.
Thumps Down: Except a few last chapters, the book does not offer much that the movie did not. As a reader, I have always appreciated books more than movies and this time I felt the book could have done better. I wanted to read more about this living legend who has done wonders in 400 metres race and made numerous records. A mere 150 page book does not suffice. Some questions remain unanswered yet.
Last but not the least: If you have not seen the movie, go for the book first and even if you have seen it, this will bring back the inspiring and powerful moments, with a little more on his life where the movie ends. All in all, worth a read for sure.
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