Milkha Singh breathe his last five days after this wife Nirmal Kaur passed away due to COVID-19.
Bollywood mourned the end of an era as it paid homage to sprint icon Milkha Singh, who died on June 18 aged 91 after battling COVID-19 for a month. Actor Farhan Akhtar, who essayed the role of Milkha Singh in the film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, penned a heartfelt note to pay his respects to the legendary sprinter.
"Dear 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," he wrote.
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The 2013 film was directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and starred Farhan Akhtar as Singh along with Sonam Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Yograj Singh and Prakash Raj in supporting roles.
Soon after the news of Singh's death broke, tributes poured in for the sports icon with several Bollywood celebrities, including Shah Rukh Khan, taking to Twitter to express their grief.
"The Flying Sikh may no longer be with us in person but his presence will always be felt and his legacy will remain unmatched... An inspiration to me... an inspiration to millions. Rest in Peace Milkha Singh sir," tweeted actor Shah Rukh Khan.
Milkha died at Chandigarh's PGIMER hospital, less than a week after he lost his wife Nirmal Kaur, a former national volleyball captain, to the same ailment. He was 91 and is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan said Singh was the pride of India.
Actor Rahul Bose said it was a sad day for India and sports. "In the long hours I spent with Milkha Sir I was always struck by his fierce determination and his even fiercer generosity. An inspiration, period. Rest in peace, Sir. We mourn deeply. Love to @JeevMilkhaSingh and the family," he tweeted.
Sharing an old picture with Singh, actress Raveena Tandon said, “Had the honour of meeting you Sir, you will always have a special place in all our hearts! Whenever we need to be inspired, “bhaag milkhe bhaag,” will resound in our ears! Om Shanti."
Taking to Twitter, actor Akshay Kumar said he regretted not playing Milkha Singh's character on screen.