A confluence of unlikely events!
An inspired leader (who also happens to be my husband). An over-protective District Magistrate. The Rain Gods. An amazing movie.
Last week, Ravi saw a film that moved him so much he called me the moment he left the theatre to tell me about it. “Jo Jo, you have to see this.” he said. “It’s an incredible testament to the power of devotion and dedication. I’m going to take my whole staff to see it”
The film was “Bhaagh, Milkha, Bhaagh!” and, as so often happens with me and Ravi, he comes up with the brilliant idea and I execute it.
A few days later, our loving and ever-vigilant District Magistrate decided that all schools should be closed for two days due to expected torrential rains. When the DM speaks, we are bound ~ by law ~ to listen. We close our centres to the children, but we still ask staff to come in.
The first day was fine. It rained just as predicted. The second day – um. Not so much. So – I thought – why not go to the movies? Why not take Ravi’s advice and get the whole team together to see “Baagh, Milkha, Baagh!”?
That’s what we did today. What an amazing film! What a glorious event for the Foundation.
Here’s Moy Moy, waiting in the lobby for everyone else to turn up.
Everybody. 108 staff members of the Latika Roy Foundation. 108!!!
Plus a few special guests like Karuna Chopra, Karuna Vihar’s namesake. Nutan Gupta, inspiration and major donor.
We all turned up.
Because “Bhaagh, Milkha, Bhaagh!” is a movie worth turning up for.
It’s worth turning up for because it is about dedication and devotion. It is about what it means to achieve greatness through hard work, single-mindedness and determination.
It is about overcoming adversity (whose life doesn’t contain adversity?) and it’s about pushing the limits, testing the boundaries, forcing oneself to move beyond the safe and the familiar to accomplish remarkable things.
Milkha Singh had a perfect and an idyllic life in his little village in Pakistan. His family loved him dearly, he was well-fed and he was going to school. He was everyone’s pride and joy. And then the partition came and shattered all his dreams. His family was massacred before his very eyes. At the age of 12, he was left orphaned and forced to fend for himself.
How did he take that legacy and become India’s greatest athletic hero?
It’s worth thinking about.
We are accustomed to freedom and security and we take it for granted.
108 of us! We take it for granted.
“Bhaagh, Milkha, Bhaagh!” reminded us that nothing can be taken for granted. The whole damn thing could change in the blink of an eye.
(Disability happens like that. Everything is perfect. Blink.Of.An.Eye. It’s all different. Everything has changed. Milkha Singh would understand.)
Because this is how we learn. This is how we begin to understand that everyone we meet comes with a story. Everyone has a past. Everyone struggles. Everyone has to work incredibly hard to achieve what they were sent here to do.
Milkha Singh’s story is the story of each one of us. 108 of us came together today to hear that story and each one of us left that theatre better equipped to move on through life, better able to face each day’s challenges with resolve and devotion, more inspired to raise the bar for ourselves, clearer-eyed about what excellence and greatness really mean.
The bar is as high as we set it. Milkha Singh’s story teaches us just how much we can accomplish if we put our minds to it.He gave his all to the nation. Can we be satisfied with anything less?