When Alexander the great was campaigning in outlaw country , he wrote to his mother---'' I am in the region of leonine ( lionlike ) people . You are justly proud to have given birth to me , but out here every man is an Alexander !! '' ......Welcome to the myth and the legend of the outlaw..... But behind the myth , lies the reality..... .....A reality of sleepless nights spent in fear of the police , of moving from place to place for shelter like a hunted animal , of unshed tears yearning for the company of loved ones left behind in towns and villages , of the danger of being betrayed by your own people at every turn , of bullets killing one by one of your gang and of days living without food or water..... But there are proud moments too---of your son's marriage getting fixed and you asking your son as to whether your reputation as an outlaw didnt deter the girl's parents ; and the son's proud answer , '' Dad , it was YOUR reputation that attracted the girl's family......'' Welcome to the ravines of the Chambal---where dacoits proudly call themselves REBELS and say that the real dacoits are the ones who sit in the parliament ......And where you are proud of your uncle and others in your family being rebels and outlaws ( sshh.....dont call them dacoits ) and boast of the IZZAT they have in their villages because of their feared deeds..... In such a family is born Paan Singh Tomar..... But he wants to serve the country---and spends some of the best moments of his life in the armed forces..... Its a time when his sporting talents are discovered , and he brings medals for the country from foreign lands...... .....And comes back to oh-so-brief but secret rendezvous for romance with his waiting wife..... And its a time of shortlived glory---of female fans in Japan saying ' I love you ' and making his wife deliciously jealous...... ......And a time of Paan Singh being deemed too precious an athlete to be sent to war..... This is also the most enjoyable part of the film---for it shows army life with all its glory and discipline.... But its like a dream that will come to an end...... Because ultimately Paan Singh has to return to the ravines of the Chambal..... .....And those ravines---they have rules of their own...... Those rules consist of endless blood feuds with your own relatives that ultimately lead him to become a rebel---nothing but a glorified dacoit actually..... And there are no dramatic charges on horses by these dacoits waving guns like they showed in films like Sholay.... In fact ,there are no horses at all..... Instead , its the hard grind of moving from cover to cover on foot saving every bullet , and dodging death at every second..... .....And ultimately dying a dogs death..... Its to actor Irfan Khan's credit that he brings this dog....err dacoit to life by a splendid show of acting..... And three cheers to the director too.... .....For he genuinely gets you to sympathise with the outlaws.....an achievement in itself . One wonders if Alexander the great was watching this film when said his memorable words..... Verdict---good .