India's greatest athlete and a running legend, Milkha Singh passed away aged 91. He gave India its first gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. A Padma Shri awardee, Milkha Singh has inspired several generations of sportpersons and common people with his hardwork, perseverance and dedication.
Here's looking at some of his most inspirational and impactful words.
1. "You can achieve anything in life. It just depends on how desperate you are to achieve it."
2. "I was moved to tears by the thought that from being nobody the night before, I had become somebody."
3. "My most enduring memory of that year is not the birth of India and Pakistan. I could not even comprehend what was happening. As a teenager from a backward village in Pakistan, I had never seen a cycle, car or train. I was completely bewildered at the turn of events. All that mattered was how to get my next meal, usually a roti and an onion."
4. "The track, to me, was like an open book, in which I could read the meaning and purpose of life. I revered it like I would the sanctum sanctorum in a temple, where the deity resided and before whom I would humbly prostrate myself as a devotee. To keep myself steadfast to my goal, I renounced all pleasures and distractions, to keep myself fit and healthy, and dedicated my life to the ground where I could practice and run. Running had thus become my God, my religion and my beloved."
5. "I would not stop till I had filled up a bucket with my sweat. I would push myself so much that in the end I would collapse and I would have to be admitted to hospital, I would pray to God to save me, promise that I would be more careful in future. And then I would do it all over again."
6. "When I reflect upon my life, I can clearly see how my passion for running has dominated my life. The images that flash through my mind are those running…. running…running…"
7. "Discipline, hard work, will power…. My experience made me so hard that I wasn't even scared of death."
8. "Hardwork, willpower and dedication, jis insaan mein yeh cheezein hai woh zameen se uth ke aasmaan ko chhu sakta hai."
9. "Don't be afraid of moving slowly, be afraid of standing still."
10. "Wherever I ran, India and Pakistan both ran with me."
11. "Talent must be nurtured from a very young age for it to grow and flourish."
12. "Life of a sportsperson is hard, and the there will certainly be times when you might be tempted to quit or take shortcut but remember there are no shortcuts to success."
He was the first and will always remain the first for India.