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Tears for the father, thigh slaps for the singer Sidhu Moosewala

An emotional Sarfaraz Khan was fighting back tears as he suddenly cried out, slapping his thigh and raising his index finger to the sky. The tears were for his father, the godfather of his life; The thigh pump was for the late Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala.

It is as if Sarfraz had invoked the famous Moosewala song called 295, the lyrics of which are: “Bhavein Aukhi Hoyi Ae Crowd Tere Te/ Bolde Ne Aivein Saale Loud Tere Te/ Par Ik Gall Rakhi Yaad Puttra/ Aaha Bapu Tera Bada Aa Proud Tere Te ”

The meaning couldn’t fit Sarfraz’s life better. “Even though the crowd is mad at you/ They yell at you loudly/ But one thing you remember, son/ That your father is very proud of you.” In the song’s video, not long after these lines, heaves Moosewala his index finger in the sky. Behind him, on the tractor he jumps off, is the line: Thug Life. During his funeral after he was shot, his father hosted the thigh pump celebrations. Days later, in New York’s Times Square, videos of him splashed onto billboards and his fans gathered in front of it, celebrating the exact same celebration.

Far away at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium, Sarfaraz would pay his tribute to the singer after hitting a special ton in the Ranji final against Madhya Pradesh. Later he would dedicate the Hundred Sidhu to Moosewala. Khan said he had been listening to Moosewala for the past four years, but it was his last song that brought him closer to the singer.

“His song used to be played in our dressing room at celebrations. He was trending a few years ago and someone was playing his songs. From then on I started to like him. His last song, however, is: Par ikk gal rakhi meri yaad puttra. Aah baapu tera barha aa pride tere te, this line really touched me. That line is my story,” Khan said.

Khan’s father Naushad always dreamed that one day his son would make a big name. His father had arranged for Sarfaraz and his younger brother Musheer to toil in the Maidaans of Mumbai so they could one day represent the country.

Khan said he has done this particular celebration before. “When I scored 153 points in a Ranji Trophy game, I had the same cheers back then, but the broadcasters didn’t show it. Everyone saw it at the time, so people started relating to it.” His friend and teammate Hardik Tamore listens to the Moosewala song regularly.

Khan also shared his emotions upon hearing the singer was shot. “I was completely taken back. I felt an emptiness inside because he was unknowingly part of our lives. Hardik Tamore and I used to play his song in the dressing room a lot and we still do. But the connection has gone far after his death.”

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