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Milkha Singh unveils Milkha in action

The Flying Sikh’s wax figure to be a part of Madame Tussauds in Delhi

Jagmeeta Thind Joy

There has been a lot of buzz around the opening of Madame Tussauds in India. Known for their life-like wax figures of prominent people, both living and dead, Madame Tussauds is a popular attraction across the world. Come December 1 and Madame Tussauds will open in Delhi – it will be housed in Connaught Place’s iconic Regal Cinema. The Delhi edition will house popular names from Bollywood and Hollywood, sports, history and politics all under one roof. And taking pride of place in the sports arena will be a wax figure of Milkha Singh, one of the country’s greatest athletes.

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Photos by SUMIT KUMAR

Before it is formally launched in Delhi, the wax figure of The Flying Sikh made its way to Chandigarh this Tuesday and was unveiled by Mikha Singh himself. “It really does look like me and I think the team has done a commendable job,” said Singh. Also present on the occasion were his family members and friends.

Incidentally, Milkha Singh’s detailed wax figure was crafted from over 300 measurements and umpteen photographs by skilled artists from Madame Tussauds in London.  It took the team nearly six months to complete it.

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To give credit where it is due, the wax figure is indeed very realistic looking. The detailing – be it the wispy hair, the running pose, the facial features down to the beads of sweat on the face – is indeed commendable. “This is my running pose,” said Singh as he posed for the photographers at the launch. Interestingly, the younger Milkha in a dynamic sprint pose has been inspired by the athlete’s winning performance in the 1958 Commonwealth Games when he won his first gold medal.

“If I close my eyes today, I can relive it all. I remember visiting Madame Tussauds in London and never realised I would find myself looking at my own wax figure some day. When I look back I think it was my willpower, discipline and hard work that paid off,” Singh tells us. He hopes his wax figure will not just be looked at by future generations but also motivate youngsters to believe in their dreams. “When I was young, I had no idea about running professionally. I ran barefoot but willed myself to excel. I want youngsters to know that if I can, so can they. All we need is discipline and hard work.”

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Milkha Singh with his family at the unveiling of the wax figure in Chandigarh on Tuesday at JW Marriott

“For Madame Tussauds Delhi we will have planned themes and interactive areas. Nearly 60 percent of the wax figures will be Indian and 40 percent of international personalities,” informed Anshul Jain, General Manager and Director, Merlin Entertainments India Pvt Ltd. Among those whose wax figures will find place in Madame Tussauds in Delhi include Bhagat Singh, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Madhubala, Shreya Goshal, Justin Beiber, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor, to list a few.

“For more details and to book tickets, you can log on to www.madametussauds.com and avail special early bird deals as well,” informed Jain.

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