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Some movies provide entertainment, some movies fuel emotions but some movies are made to make a mark; they tell a story that speaks for itself. They are made to move your whole being, to cause a revolution. And when they fail to do so, it is but a sad day for humanity. Budhia Singh: Born to run is undoubtedly one of them.
When I went to watch this movie, I was not prepared to receive such a blow. Yes, the Imdb rating had it at a high 9.3, The Times of India gave it 4/5, even the viewer rating at Bookmyshow was 8.4/10 but then, the film has been a big flop at the box office. After Irfan, Azhar and Mary Kom I thought it must be just another struggle story of a budding athlete, the name also betrayed something similar but this is quite something else. I received quite an interesting comment and I quote, “It was one of those movies which you go in order to get more interested in the person sitting beside you but once you embark upon this journey, the whole plan goes amiss not just the movie but the dinner as well.”
I had heard a review on Lootera once, which said that while the movie had all the elements of becoming an evergreen blockbuster but it somehow missed the mark. Coming as it was at the eve of Rio Olympics with the hashtag #budhiafor2016olympics, everything seemed to be meticulously planned here too, yet it failed to strike a chord with the audience. The trumpets were blown, but there was no reverberation.
Based on a true story, Budhia Singh is no ordinary fairy tale. It is as realistic as it is outlandish. It presents with astute creativity the questions that it seeks the audience to think about. I have no intentions of glorifying but this film is not just worth a watch but also worth pondering and debating about.
As it goes, at the age of 5, Budhia had his name in the Limca Book of Records for being the youngest marathon runner. Today, at the age of 14, the real Budhia sounds discontent with the path his life has taken and is currently treading on(as per newspaper interviews). While the film revolves around the ethicality of his coach pushing him to the feat at the age of five, the drama about it and Budhia’s great achievement, real Budhia still considers Biranchi Das his hero. The weights do heavily tilt in the favour of what was done then but it still remains a question whether we ‘generalized’ a prodigy since it did not conform with our ‘rational’ thinking.
The aim then, was of course to save a childhood from being lost. However, with marathoners as young as 21 and 16 coming up from around the world, the question that the movie now poses is whether it is time to pull back the wise restraints and let the bird free to undertake its flight. After all, the ban on Budhia remains till date.
In holding him back, are we wasting his talent and denying him due glory for the sake of questions we do not hold answers to? At 22 Samuel Wanjiru was the youngest marathon winner, Budhia at 14 might still have the chance to break that record. Whether Budhia Singh still has it in him or not, is a question only time can answer but Budhia for sure still has dreams of running the Olympics for India. He awaits another Biranchi who will come forward and nurture him. The flame has flickered but not extinguished.
As I write this article I am but amazed to note how we stand at crossroads today. Who knows Budhia may not just be his but even be our ticket to history. The age of 5, I believe was actually too small but 14 is not. It is not ordinary for a boy to achieve what Budhia did at 5 under Biranchi’s guidance. If he still wants to run and has it in him, does India have another Biranchi who can come and help him catch this last bus? I do not run marathons but those who do should surely consider helping. It is not everyday that a Budhia is born, spotted, banned, made a film about, and still live to tell the tale and dream to make it big.
Speeches apart, considering the battering and blabbering we, being the world’s largest democracy undertake every day, it is sad that Budhia Singh has not made it to our arguments. Do watch the movie! Feel free to comment and share.
#Budhia Singh:Born to run