Arif earned instant fame after his 21st birthday, three years ago. Reason: His neighbourhood boys had discovered his resemblance with the pakistani fast bowler Umer Gul. “People swarmed my house after this discovery; kissed and congratulated me,” says Arif. Hailing from Central Kashmir’s Budgam District Arif said at the beginning he enjoyed his stardom but later it become a nuisance for him. “They (people) wud come every day and ask for photographs and auto graphs. My social life was affected the most.” He said he was ridiculed if Umer Gul bowled badly. “During the World Cup Semi final, last year, my house was stoned after Gul was taken to cleaners. What is my fault if some bowler bowls pathetically?” lamented Arif Even though he resembles Gul, Arif says his all time favourite is ‘lala’, referring to the flamboyant Pakistani player Shahid Afridi who is famous by the said name. Arif has an unbelievable tale to tell, which is hard to digest. He says when he was born, he resembled ‘lala’, but then he underwent an overnight change. “Actually, when i woke up on 1st january 2009, i was shocked to see my face in the mirror. I thought i was dreaming but when i cut my finger and the streams of blood began to flow from my finger,” he started once again when i snap him. Arif has seen highs and lows of his fame but he has a serious apprehension. “I transformed from Afridi to Gul but what i fear most is what if i wake up one day to see myself turned into Malinga?” Arif hopes to meets his favourite player ‘lala’ before he dies and wants the government support in his regard. “I want the state govt to facilitate my visit to Pakistan so that I can meet Gul and Afridi,” said he, as tears rolled down his cheeks when somebody from outside his home screamed “gulley”.150320121952

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