He may be the subject of a Hollywood movie but Dinesh Patel,24,has his feet firmly on the ground. The movieMillion Dollar Arma sports drama about
PatelandhisfriendRinkuSinghwhowonacontestand subsequently won a place in a minor league baseball team. Life of Pi star Suraj Sharma plays Rinku and Madhur Mittal who featured in Slumdog Millionaire reprises Patel’s. The shooting for the movie which also features Mad Men’s Jon Hamm was held at Lucknow this week with Patel training Sharma and Mittal.
Patel’s remarkable story undoutedly was made for the big screen. Hailing from Khanpur village in Varanasi,Patel joined Guru Gobind Singh Sports College,Lucknow in 2004 and started training as a javelin thrower. On the insistance of his athletics coach JS Bhatia,Dinesh and another javelin thrower from the college,Rinku Singh took part in the ‘Million Dollar Arm’ contest in 2008 meant to select an individual who could throw a baseball fastest and most accuratly.
Beating nearly 37,000 participants,Rinku emerged winner while Dinesh was adjudged runnerup. Thereafter,after training in Los Angeles,both Rinku and runner-up Dinesh were later signed up by PittsburghPirates.DineshreturnedtoIndiain2010but he has fond memories of his stay in United States.
Both Dinesh and Deepesh Solanki,a scout with
Million Dollar Arm feel that that the movie will increase
awareness of Indias sports potential. “The
just shows the amount of talent in India,” said Solanki.
Shooting for the film began in Mumbai earlier
this month and Solanki and Patel will be travelling
alongside the film unit. “The next destination is Agra
for which we will be leaving on Thursday evening. Though somebody else is playing our roles but it gives me joy to see that something is being done for us and the world will again come to know about our story through the movie. I had a talk with Rinku (who is in Florida) a few days back. ,” Dinesh said.
For now Dinesh has put on hold his plans to polish his skills further in javelin throw. “After coming to India,I had participated in two competitive events—- in an open nationals and the All India varsity meet. But presently,I am focussing on helping the unit with the movie, he said.
While they may have taken well to the alien sport,the two ares still getting to terms with nuances of making a film. Baseball coach Deepesh adds,” Because my and Dinesh’s name sound similar,therefore,the actor playing my part in the movie will be addressed as Amit
to avoid confusion