By Subhash K. Jha 
Mumbai: Punjabi superstar Gippy Garewal, who plays the title role in “Subedar Joginder Singh”, says he is ashamed to say he didn’t know about the man, who fought off the Chinese invaders during the 1962 Sino-Indian war.

Gippy went through drastic physical and emotional changes for the role.

“It was by far the most difficult role of my career so far. I had to gain 20 kg to look like Subedar Joginder Singh. And then I had to lose it all for my next film ‘Carry On Jatta 2’, all within a few months,” he said.

Gippy says the effort was all worth his while.

“The story of this amazing man had to be told to the world. And I am honoured to be taking his story to the world. I am ashamed to say I didn’t know who Subedar Joginder Singh was when I was offered the role. Then I began reading up on him.

“I got to know he was a Paramvir Chakra winner and his valour during the India and China war left me humbled and proud. I was blown away. A hero like Subedar Joginder Singh comes along once in a blue moon. To play him is a privilege.”

Luckily for Gippy, gaining and losing all that weight was the least of his problems.

“I can easily lose weight. But I can’t gain weight that easily. So my problems came before I started shooting for Subedar Joginder Singh. After the shooting, I had no difficulty losing weight.

“But I had a tough time getting out of the skin and mind of that brave soldier who gave up his life for our country and to get into the fun-and-games mode of ‘Carry On Jatta 2’. I had to take time off for a few days to leave Subedar Joginder Singh behind. He is someone I don’t want to forget.”

The film is releasing in Punjabi and a dubbed Hindi version.

“The message of Subedar Joginder Singh’s valour must reach to the farthest places possible,” Gippy asserted.