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'They still call me Salmanwala driver' – Salman Khan birthday special

Salman Khan travelled in Sanjeev Kumar Singh's three-wheeler one night two years ago. The driver recalls the incident.

Salman Khan and Sanjeev Kumar Singh

Keyur Seta

In a recent interview, Salman Khan acknowledged that a large chunk of his fans are autorickshaw drivers. Hence, the superstar is often seen taking autorickshaw rides. One such ride that grabbed media attention took place two years ago.

On Khan's 52nd birthday today (27 December), we had a chance encounter with the driver, Sanjeev Kumar Singh, who took the Tiger Zinda Hai star for a ride. Literally.

The incident happened on 20 December 2015 when Khan was returning from a club where he had celebrated brother Sohail Khan’s birthday. He was accompanied by actor Nikhil Dwivedi.

Recalling the day, Sanjeev Kumar Singh said, “The party was at a hotel near Union Park [at Pali Hill, Bandra]. I was returning after dinner.”

Suddenly, the actor showed up from nowhere. “Salman just came and sat in my rickshaw," the driver recalled. "He said, ‘Drive fast.’ I wondered how because there were people and vehicles everywhere.”

But as soon as the ride commenced, Khan remembered something. “He suddenly asked me to take a U-turn and we reached Union Park again. There was a balloon seller there. Salman gave him Rs1000. When we left again, there were at least 500 people behind us along with media people and his bodyguard.”

When they reached Khan’s residence at Galaxy Apartments in Bandra, the actor gave Sanjeev Kumar Singh also a Rs1000 note.

By then, the driver had become the centre of attraction. “All the media people were standing around. They took pictures of me and my vehicle. People started saying that since Salman Khan had sat in my vehicle, I had become Salman Khan!”

Interestingly, Sanjeev Kumar Singh himself is not starstruck. “I don’t consider [the incident] great. For me he is just a human being,” he said.

This attitude, however, has not prevented him becoming famous among the fraternity. “They still call me ‘Salmanwala driver’,” he said.