Meeting Milka SinghAt twelve o’clock I went back for my famous T-shirt, but the manager, Ghuli, was not to be found in the office. He was in the playground, not paying any attention to the time. For an hour I wasted time, then I went to another office to get the immortal T-shirt. They said, “Ghuli is very busy right now.”
I watched a few more races and went back again. Finally I got mad. My fever was escalating like anything. I said, “I am going to say nasty things in America about how corrupt Indians are.”
Then I saw the first Sardar-ji, Jogendra, the man who had been kind to me and who had introduced me to Ghuli. He happened to be the Secretary of All-India Athletics for the Veterans. He saw me going away, so he asked me, “Where are you going?”
I said, “I am sick of Indians. They are all liars!”
He grabbed me and said, “We are not so bad.”
I said, “Yes, you are all like that.”
Then he took me into a room and said, “Now sit down and say anything you like against us.”
I told him, “Do I need this T-shirt? I paid for it, and three or four times I have tried to get it.” I went on like this and insulted everybody, while he listened to me. “Also, I wanted to meet Milka Singh, and the manager didn’t want to be bothered with that.”
In the same room there was a very old man, an Indian reporter and a very tall Sikh, who was sitting on a chair. All of a sudden the Sikh came over to me. He said, “You have come to the right person.”
I said, “Everybody says that he is the right person, but nobody has been able to help me. They just send me here and there like a football. Now tell me who you are.”
The tall man said, “I am Milka Singh.”
I said, “You are Milka Singh? I was your great admirer.” Then I started telling him about his athletic achievements.
He said, “You say Indians are bad. But others are even worse.” Then we had a long chat. We talked for about an hour, and he told me many stories about his career.
— 31 March 1983