The Flying Sikh : Milkha Singh


Sardar Milkha Singh is the greatest living Sikh Athlete. Born in a family of modest means, joining the army and then discovering the penchant for running and winning is his life in summation. . He deservedly got an epithet named “Flying Sikh” from Pakistan General Ayub Khan. Till date (Until 2000 Sydney Olympics) the ‘Flying Sikh’ is the only Indian to have broken an Olympic record. Unfortunately, he was the fourth athlete to reset the mark and thus missed the bronze medal in the 400m event at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

For the man who won 77 of the 80 races he ran, Milkha Singh has no medals. It has been some years that ‘The Flying Sikh’ donated his sporting treasures to the nation. No personal souvenirs line his living room walls, no trophies sit on the mantle. Instead, the walls make do with pictures of the surgeon in America who saved his wife’s life and Havildar Bikram Singh, a Kargil martyr. “I have given permission that my medals be transferred from the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi to the sports museum in Patiala,” says the 72-year-old Singh. Strangely, the stadium gallery lined with many of India’s sporting talent does not have a single picture of Milkha Singh. In a country where great sportspersons are few and far between, India has a strange way of honouring its stars.

But Milkha Singh’s achievements can do without such testimony. “The people of this country remember me. I may have started dyeing my beard but I am recognised at airports, railway stations — anywhere. School textbooks have chapters on me, and somehow the sobriquet ‘The Flying Sikh’ has endured in people’s memory,” he says. Singh, however, has no complaints about the recognition given to him by the government. A Padma Shri and Arjuna Award winner, the legendary athlete who started his career on a Rs 10 wage went on to become director, sports, ministry of education in the Punjab government. “I have received more than I deserved.”

It was a hard uphill climb for the refugee from Muzaffargarh in west Pakistan. The Partition massacres of 1947 took the lives of his parents and Singh was rejected by the army thrice. He subsequently enrolled in the army’s electrical mechanical engineering branch in 1952 when his brother Malkhan Singh put in a word for him, and experienced his first sport outing at its athletics meet a fortnight later. “That was the first time I saw a ground bedecked with flags,” reminisces Singh. “I later participated in a crosscountry race with 300 to 400 jawans. And sat down after the first half mile before starting again — that was my first race.”

Determined to be the best and realising his talent as a sprinter, the jawan took to training five hours every day. Motivated by his coach Havildar Gurdev Singh, he left it to the elements to hone his craft — running on the hills, the sands of the Yamuna river, and against the speed of a metre gauge train. He says so intense was his training that very often he vomitted blood and would collapse in exhaustion.
Every morning Milkha Singh still goes for a jog by the Sukhna lake in Chandigarh. Most afternoons are spent playing golf and he uses the gym in his house regularly. “Discipline. You have to be disciplined if you want to be world class,” he says, “That’s what I tell my son Jeev. I give him the example of Tiger Woods, and hope he would bring the medal I couldn’t.” Jeev Milkha Singh, India’s best golfer, was recently awarded the Arjuna Award and is striving to make a mark on the international golf circuit. Whether he does manage to bring the sporting glory that eluded his father, is yet to be seen. Till then, it is a disappointment that Milkha Singh will never forget. Forty years on, that failure in Rome still haunts him. 1960. The Olympics at Rome.

After clocking a world record 45.8 seconds in one of the 400 metres preliminaries in France, Milkha Singh finished fourth in a photofinish in the Olympics final. The favourite for gold had missed the bronze. By a fraction… “Since it was a photofinish, the announcements were held up. The suspense was excruciating. I knew what my fatal error was: After running perilously fast in lane five, I slowed down at 250 metres. I could not cover the lost ground after that — and that cost me the race.” “After the death of my parents, that is my worst memory,” says Singh, “I kept crying for days.” Dejected by his defeat, he made up his mind to give up sport. It was after much persuasion that he took to athletics again. Two years later, Milkha Singh won two medals at the 1962 Asian Games. But by then his golden period was over.
It was between 1958 and 1960 that Milkha Singh saw the height of glory. From setting a new record in the 200 and 400 metres at the Cuttack National Games, he won two gold medals at the Asian Games at Tokyo. The lean Sikh went on to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, and was awarded the Helms trophy or being the best athlete in 1959.

Three years before the Indo-Pak war of 1965, Milkha Singh ran that one race which made President Ayub Khan christen him ‘The Flying Sikh.’ His defeat of Pakistan’s leading athlete and winner of the 100 metres gold at the Tokyo Asiad, Abdul Khaliq, earned him India’s bestknown sports sobriquet. “It has stuck since,” he adds.

Thirty six years later, Britain’s Ann Packer remembers him too. This time for his camaraderie. Jittery about her performance in the 800 metres against formidable French German and Hungarian athletes in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, Packer clearly remembered her encounter with Singh in the lift they shared on the day of her event. ‘Ann you vill win,’ she recounted Singh’s words to a The Sunday Times journalist at her home in Cheshire recently. And vin she did. Packer clocked 2min 1.1 sec and set a new world record. Singh was among the first to congratulate her.

There are many who still congratulate Milkha Singh. “Sirji, I remember seeing you when I was a young recruit in the army,” said Gairwar Singh as he chanced upon the former athlete getting into his car outside the Chandigarh Golf Club. Elated that Singh stops to shake hands with him, Gairwar Singh — now a driver with a transport company in Delhi — tells him about his interest in wrestling. “It is appreciation from the people that helps me go ahead at this age,” Singh had earlier said at his home in Sector 8, Chandigarh. With two of his daughters married and one away in the United States, and his son travelling around the world regularly — Singh says he enjoys the tranquility. Last year, he adopted the seven-year-old son of Havildar Bikram Singh who died in the Battle for Tiger Hill. The child is at a boarding school and Singh has taken on the responsibility of bringing him up.

“We owe it to those who have died for the honour of our country,” he says, “Unlike our cricketers who have sold our country.” Deeply disappointed with these ambassadors of India’s most popular game, he firmly believes the guilty should be punished. “They cannot mock the aspirations of an entire nation,” says Singh surveying the debris of many a fallen sporting icon.

Have Faith In Your Morality


Most of us today tend to run after name, fame and money. But we fail to understand that before achieving these material successes, we must first become responsible, dutiful and accountable and should learn to make appropriate and rational use of the available resources.

A person’s internal mechanism (mental outlook) should be tuned in such a way that he learns to live properly and let others live in peace; he himself should prosper and motivate others to excel. Neither should he tolerate injustice nor should he perform any unjust action. He should strive to become an exemplary character and inspire others to follow. Today the futile lust for wealth accumulation, the desire for hollow reputation, the wish to accumulate power and enhanced ego seem to overpower the true objectives of our lives. Once we acquire wealth and power we usually think that we have attained all achievable success. But if we muster courage to remove this blindfold from our eyes, we could clearly see that human beings are the most efficient species among living beings. And this could be proved by living with humble intentions and on sound principles, thereby remaining happy and contented irrespective of quantum of material wealth possessed.

Lamp And Life

The oil in the lamp has finished. Only the burning cotton wick was emitting dim light was left. On seeing its dying moment, a householder couldn’t help asking it, “You have been guiding others by emitting your light for the whole life. You have been doing good to the world, yet when I see your such tragic end, my heart rends.”

The extinguishing lamp gathered its whole power and while emitting its glow for the last time, said, “Brother! In this mortal world, one who is born is bound to die. We can’t escape death even after our all possible attempts. However, we can do only this much: we shouldn’t let the precious moments of our life go waste.”

You Have The Wisdom And Strength Inside You

Human beings don’t become wise by reading books – they become educated. Living out experiences firsthand in the real world, one day at a time, is what gives birth to wisdom. Ultimately wisdom is what you get when you test out the waters for yourself. This kind of life experience is the most valuable asset you own.

Sometimes on the road to acquiring wisdom life will beat you down, but you have to stand back up. Because nothing is more beautiful and powerful than a soul who has weather and grown through life’s difficulties. Don’t regret your time, even the moments that were filled with hurt. Smile because you learned from it all and because you gained enough strength to rise above it all.

In the end, it’s not what you have been through that matters; it’s how you got through it that defines your life and your legacy.

Rape : How To Be Careful : Part I

Rape - I
Rape is a horrible thing to experience. Once it happens to you, you don’t want to tell anyone, because you are afraid. Or you think people will think less of you after you tell them. While these attacks are not the fault of the victim, you can take some precautionary measures to keep yourself safe.
Trust your instincts. Don’t underestimate your own judgment. If you feel uncomfortable in someone’s company, avoid being secluded with them and be firm if coercion is attempted. Attackers will more often prey on people who look vulnerable and seem easily manipulated.
Bring a friend if you are going to a party or other event in a strange place. If you can’t bring someone you know, give a friend your phone number and expected time you’ll be home, and tell him or her that you’ll check in.
Keep an eye on your drink. Date rapists can lace drinks with flavorless chemicals. Don’t go back to a drink if you’ve left it unattended, and don’t accept an open drink from a stranger (unless you saw it made at the bar or similar).
Walk with a friend if possible, especially if you’re walking at night or in a remote location. If you’re going on a jog, bring a companion.
Stay alert by avoiding headphones (which impair your ability to hear ambient sounds), or hats that block your peripheral vision. Be aware of people in the area, ahead and behind you.
Stick to populated, well-lit areas if you need to walk alone. Avoid poorly lit areas, or areas with minimal escape routes.
Carry pepper spray or a similar item for emergency self-defense.
Learn basic self-defense moves. Preparing yourself for a potential attack allows you to react better when faced with the fear and stress of the situation.
Move with confidence. Someone who looks purposeful and physically capable is a less appealing target.
Confront a pursuer. If you know that someone is following you, turn and ask them the time. Get a good look at their face and overall appearance. Attackers prefer to target victims who haven’t seen their face.
Struggle and yell if attacked.
Understand that rape isn’t just committed by strangers, but by friends, relatives, and even colleagues, as well. Often victims will know and possibly trust their rapist prior to the offense.

Just Engaged Or Married : Feeling The Pinch With New In-Laws

Yet, it would be unusual to proceed without a few uncomfortable social situations along the blissful way.
Once you’re engaged, you’ll be meeting the in-laws and introducing families, moving along formally on the path to uniting kin, and your future family. Unless you’re high school sweethearts, you probably haven’t met each other’s parents and siblings. Even though you’re planning on being your perfect self during this encounter, having the right small talk ammunition can be the key to setting off a great first impression.
Give a compliment. Tell your fiancé’s mom how much you like her shoes, or her home. Or better yet, compliment her on the amazing child she raised, the person with whom you can’t wait to spend your life. Compliments automatically make people feel more comfortable and can often be an excellent launching pad for conversation.
Be polite. Politeness is paramount when interacting with your future in-laws. Generally, whatever you learned in kindergarten is a good rule to follow: share the speaking floor, say “please” and “thank you”, and be respectful. If you don’t demonstrate manners at this meeting, your relationship with your in-laws could be off to a rocky start.
Ask questions. This is a great opportunity to ask questions about your in-law’s family history, traditions, or specific values. Not only will you seem considerate for caring, but you’ll gain some interesting insight into the person you’re marrying and be able to incorporate your fiance’s family legacy into the wedding.
Stay on neutral topics. In your first meeting with your new family, don’t ramble on about your deep connection to some ancient and eccentric spiritual belief. By avoiding hot topics like religion and politics, the conversation will keep the mood light. That’s not to say you should hide who you are, but reserve those more comprehensive conversation topics for a more appropriate time.
Control your cocktails. Don’t let your drinking get out of hand when initially meeting your in-laws (or throughout the entire wedding process). If everyone is having a cocktail, slowly sip one graciously, and leave it at that. Over consumption of alcohol can lead to bad behavior, inappropriate remarks, and embarrassing conduct that you can’t take back. You want to be married forever, not leave a bad impression forever.
Introduce your families to one another. Now that you’ve aced meeting your in-laws, it’s time for both families to make an acquaintance. If that means introducing your liberal, outspoken New York parents to your fiancé’s conservative, reserved Nebraska parents, so be it. Breathe. Ensuring that the meeting is effortless means following all of the above rules, which continue to apply throughout your entire wedding process.
Give clear indications on possible conversation topics. Fill your family in on some interesting facts about your future family. Things such as occupation, favorite hobbies, and general likes and dislikes, are a good place to start. If you provide your family with some specific insights, they will be more equipped with conversation clues.
Follow up. After the meeting, send a thank you email to everyone and attach a picture or two. By doing this, you will open up new lines of communication, giving everyone a chance to say anything they may not have had a chance to say and this will help to keep the conversation flowing. By tying up loose ends, you’ll feel more comfortable tying the knot.

The Cool Mom

Being a cool mom doesn’t mean to set your kids free without boundaries, but it is important to give your kids room to move and learn things for themselves. This will help you to enjoy parenting and help your children to enjoy being raised. It’s a win-win situation.

Let them speak, try to understand them and listen to them.

Let’s say your kid got a boyfriend or girlfriend. Try to face it well and make sure you talk to your kid about it and motivate them with it. But of course, make sure to tell your kid not to trust all people of the opposite sex.

Sometimes let them throw a party, when you think that’s all right, just be sure to let them know the conditions of the party.

Make sure they know that they can speak up and give their opinions about your family life, but not to control YOUR life. For example: let them know if you have met someone interesting.

You could raise their allowance when they do something you think they deserve.

Give your kids a break, don’t stress them with too much pressure about anything . But sometimes talk to them about school and others of his responsibilities, and make sure you show that you really believe in your kid’s potential.

Always give affection, such as a kiss or a warm hug, but try to not suffocate them.

Try to comfort your kids in the best way when they have a problem, show that you’re there to help and try to know their problems and don’t get upset in any case, but try to help in the nicest, most responsible and fairest way as possible. Learn to listen to your kids.

Ask your kids about what makes them embarrassed, so you could make a list of things that you should avoid to do to don’t make your kid embarrassed in front of others.

Don’t let the only time you speak to your kids the time when you yell at them because that is the person they will always remember you as.

Inspire them!

Never, ever say in response to a reported bullying “Just ignore them”. This never helps!

Be a good listener.

Try to be always calm and nice, but still be firm and put authority without being aggressive.

Give your kids a chance and don’t stress them. But make sure you show them what’s right to do, but let them speak up and give their opinion.

Sometimes, have a peaceful conversation with your kids and try to solve any problem. Like, if someone is doing something the other person doesn’t like it. Make sure you have a conversation with them, so you and your kids can come up with good ideas to make your life better and more peaceful.

In their teens use good judgment but also have a little faith and trust them, give them some freedom. They are good kids, you raised them, so they should be!

Helping Parents Trust You

When a teenage kid wants freedom, it seems at that point, parents are the most controlling. Inside, they want to gain your trust and let you have your teenage freedom, and they may sometimes (but not always) not trust you. This article will help you earn your parents’ trust and might make the relationships between parent and teen stronger.

If your parents tell you to do something, do it immediately. Yes, you have to do the laundry or empty the dishwasher the first time. And remember to show a little bit of individuality to your parents. For example, if your friend calls to tell you about a party, reply no and let your parents know about this. This will show to your parents that you’re not looking for every opportunity to party.

Be sure you have all the details about the party you’re going to. This way you can tell your parents what is going to happen.

Tell your parents if you’re going to be driven somewhere. Before you do, make sure that person has good intentions and has a license before you ask for permission.

Keep your cool if your parents don’t let you do something. Shouting back and arguing gives a bad impression and makes you look like a 2 year old. After all, they may be right in not letting you doing that activity.

Do all of your chores and homework.

Say something only if you mean it.

If your parents accuse you of doing something you didn’t do, relax and calmly tell your side of the story. They will be able to understand you.

Make sure to do little things for your parents, like fill their drink or make breakfast, without being asked. Your parents will love you even more and will do things you want to do for a chance.

If you made a mistake, big or small, admit that you were wrong and don’t make any excuses or blame something or someone, because if you do, your apologies will seem fake and not meaningful.

Don’t get angry if your parents give you advice, even when you know what to do already. Just say thanks and that you’ll think about it. This will help your parents know that you are listening and are accepting advice.

Do not take advantage of your parents. Would you trust someone whom you know is simply using you?

Always follow curfew rules. Even if the party is “just getting started,” go home when you’re supposed to. Remember: is one trivial party going to be worth the trouble and distrust you’re going to get (in)?

If they don’t approve of something you are doing and begin to scold or punish you for it, don’t talk back or scream; just stay quiet and keep your comments to yourself. This will make arguments and scolding end quicker, and will keep them less angry at you.

If your parents say “you’re wrong” or say something along those lines, don’t argue. Just say “Okay, I’m sorry.”

If you have to think twice about something, don’t do it. Doing something that is illegal or not permitted will be one of the fastest ways to lose your parents trust.

Act maturely .This will help to gain their confidence fast.

Don’t lie.

If you take offense right away, tell your parents you need time to yourself to cool off, they’ll understand.

If your parents talk to you about the same thing over and over, just do what they say for a change. It takes a lot of stress away from you and them.

Even though you should earn their trust, remember not to do everything for them no matter what; if you can’t trust them, their trust of you is useless.

Love them no matter what happens, even if it means you can’t do the things you want to do.

Don’t drink alcohol or smoke until old enough or responsible enough to handle it.

Family Outing With Teenage Young Adults

To keep family ties close after your teenagers develop their own social lives, plan outings with your children. Go out with them to get to know them better.

Whether your teenagers are still living at home or living away from home in a dormitory or apartment, it is important to keep family ties tight. Just as married couples plan “dates” to pencil in specific time for one another, “dates” with your older children work the same way.

To let your “children” know your relationship with them is important to you, sit down and discuss a “date” schedule. Once a month is a good start. Make the location and time convenient for you and for your children.

To add a bit of cultural and education to your “dates,” select ethnic restaurants that your family may not have frequented in the past. And, pair your cultural dinner experience with a visit to a local museum or travelling exhibit.

“Dates” with your older children not only keep your family “bonded,” they also create memories to share and remember long into the future.

Giving the gift of time is priceless and irreplaceable.

Going on an outing that is tailored to your teenager’s likes is also a good idea.

Being A Parent That Rocks & Punked : Part 2

Use your punk roots to teach your children valuable lessons about not judging people too quickly. While instilling the ever essential need to beware any possible stranger danger, teach your children ways to balance their initial gut reactions with a willingness to get to know a person properly. Some of the punk-based lessons you might be able to share with your kids include:

Show them how creative people of all types like to push the appearance of boundaries for specific reasons that have nothing to do with fear or spite. Sometimes it’s about challenging the less tolerant elements in society; other times it’s about self-expression and being open to all the possibilities by keeping an open mind. In some cases, it’s a deliberate poke at societal ideas of beauty, while in many cases it’s simply about having fun and doing things differently.

Explore difference with your children, using your punk experience. Explain that punks have often frightened others by their appearance alone, with their piercings, tattoos, ripped clothing and brightly colored spiked hair. Explain how some people choose to interpret this as “bad” or “deviant”. This can then lead you into a discussion about why people might be frightened by mere appearance (for older children, you can also explore the implications of the philosophies held by punks). For many punks, looking distinct is a story of creativity, boundary-pushing and challenging assumptions. And you might like to highlight how challenging conformity through appearance, actions and words can often cause fearful or uncertain people to feel threatened because they might either be upset that others have the pluck to self-express while they’ve spent their whole lives conforming or they may be jealous or fearful of what would happen if things changed too much from what they know.

Don’t sugarcoat everything. Punk culture has its dark side too, and that is something that can be explored with older children, with

Wear your punk self in ways that fit your current lifestyle and parenting role. While the green hair and black nail polish may have been “very you” in the nineteen eighties, the reality is that trying to relive the past by way of clothing, makeup and hairstyles is often a self-defeating action. Rather than clinging on to the past, find ways to look punk that fit your age and lifestyle now––there are plenty of cool quirks you can get away with that flatter your age and still denote a lack of conformity to the expected. For example, not wearing a tie, wearing brightly colored shirts, dying your hair in interestingly creative ways rather than dramatic ones and wearing cool shoes made by a local craftsperson are just some possible ways to punk up your gear without letting yourself down.

Be aware that parents can embarrass their kids easily by how they dress. However, if you’ve done a good job of teaching them tolerance and acceptance, this will hopefully be less of an issue. If you still wear a mohawk at 50, give your kids a chance to express their feelings and be open to discussing the reasons for your choice. Ultimately, while it’s important to give consideration to how your kids might feel about your outward punk expression, this is another lesson for them in being understanding and accepting.

Be careful to avoid wearing anything that could harm a child. Accidentally knocking your baby with a stud wristband while wrestling with the diapers on the change table is not a good outcome.

Come to peace with some of the nasty necessities of life, or find viable alternatives. Grown-up realities like mortgages and daily work can either be something you groan about or you reach acceptance about. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up––it means finding ways to make your current reality less onerous, more cheerful and one that works best for you. And if you can’t reach acceptance, find an alternative like freelancing, renting, living off-the-grid, etc., while still making sure that your kids are getting a decent, healthy upbringing. Whatever you choose, help your children to see that life has meaningful purpose.

Parents who keep trying to “stick-it-to-the-man” risk teaching children more about anger and staying stuck than about being free unless you action your words and be that entrepreneur, business owner or free spirit you’d prefer to be. Show your children more personally satisfying ways to live than complaining and running away.