Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra buys Milkha Singh’s shoes for Rs 24 lakhs in sports memorabilia auction

Mumbai: 2012 was most certainly bigger and better as the second edition of ‘Celebrities at EQUATION – AN AUCTION FOR EQUALITY’ – India’s most historic sports memorabilia auction in Mumbai. hosted by The Foundation, the NGO founded by actor Rahul Bose saw support from donors and friends multi fold. 33 of the greatest pieces in sporting history donated by 33 of its greatest champions were put under the hammer for EQUATION. The proceeds of the auction were donated to The Foundation, dedicated to creating a world without discrimination. The auction was a black tie sit down dinner held at The Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai preceded by cocktail and ofcourse the glamorous red carpet. 

Sportsmen, sports enthusiasts, corporate bigwigs, glitterati from the fashion world and social circuit along with members of the film fraternity came forward to support Rahul Bose and his initiative EQUATION. The evening got even brighter when donors like Milkha Singh, Kapil Dev, Prakash Padukone, Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Dhanraj Pillay, Viren Rasquinha who came in with friends and family, graced the red carpet with their presence.

Kapil was amongst the first to arrive along with his wife and friends. He was followed by Viren Rasquina and Bishan Singh Bedi along with Erapalli Prasanna and Prakash Padukone. The red carpet had a new found excitement when Milkha Singh graced the event with his and his wife’s presence. Next to arrive were actor Siddharth Suryanarayan who was the host for the evening along with co host Cyrus Broacha. Vipul and Shefali Shah made a rare appearance with their sons. Both have been believers and loyalists of Equation after having attended last year as well. Atul and Vandana Kasbekar came in as well along with Ravi Krishnan and Gabriella. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra was amongst the last to enter and walked away as the proud owner of Milkha Singh’s shoes at a bid amount of Rs 24 lakhs. It was quite the moment and everyone could sense his excitement as part of the preparation for his next release. Other eminent attendees included Dr. Vijay Mallya and his son Sidhartha along with Gautam Singhania and Gul Panag. Other socialites included Sangita Kathiwada and Queenie Singh

The auctioneer at the main event was Mallika Advani along with Siddharth and Cyrus Broacha who not only hosted the evening but also interlaced the bidding process with the history of each piece in the auction. Rahul and Siddharth would take turns introducing some of the most noteworthy pieces.

The auction saw some major highlights with the autographed ball by MS Dhoni and Kumara Sangakarra from the ICC World Cup 2011 fetching the highest bid for Rs 38 lakhs followed by Milkha Singh’s shoes. The bat signed by all the members of the world cup winning team fetched Rs 14 lakhs followed by Sachin Tendular’s bat that fetched Rs 11 lakhs. Cricket continued to make a strong presence as the pieces signed by the greatest all rounders – Imran Khan, Sir Richard Hadlee, Kapil Dev and Sir Ian Botham that earned Rs 8.5 lakhs. The international pieces were also quite the favorites as Lionel Messi’s autographed football fetched Rs 11 lakhs followed by Rafael Nadal autographed shoes that were auctioned for Rs 6.5 lakhs.

Other high value pieces include:
-          VVS Laxman Bat that he scored a 148 with against Australia fetched Rs 6 lakhs
-          The cricket test match balls signed by the Spin quartet (Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrashekhar, Venkatrahgavan) fetched Rs 5.5 lakhs
-          Magic Johnson’s autographed Lakers vest earned Rs 5.5 lakhs

The total sum raised for The Foundation was Rs 1.96 crore.

Overwhelmed with the response at the auction, Rahul Bose, founder of the NGO The Foundation said, “It was an incredible feeling to be in a room full of people with so much of good will and compassion. It is a great testament to the generosity of spirit that Indians have towards making a world better for our children. This auction would be nothing without our champions. They are champions not only in their sport but in the largeness of their hearts. We are humbled and grateful.”