Mumbai: Feroze Sheikh was just 14 when his father Noorullah Sharif died under the wheels of Salman Khan's Land Cruiser.
Today, the young man of 27 remained stoic after Bombay High Court acquitted the actor of all the charges against him.
Five words summed up how stoic. "I still watch his movies," Feroze said.
After Noorullah's death, his widow Salma had worked as a domestic help to raise her three children. But the destitution of those hard years became harder to bear every time they knocked on the gates of Salman's seaside luxury residence to seek humanitarian aid from the star who now runs the Being Human franchise that contributes to charity.
They were shooed away each time.
"To his guards we were like dirty dogs. Yet I bear nobody any grudge. His acquittal or conviction means nothing to me, I lost my childhood. I know it was not worth much even when my father was around as we were still poor. But I was not an orphan," Feroze said after the verdict.
"There was a time when some compensation was promised to us from his side. It never came," he said, adding, "I still watch his movies."
Feroze and his mother now live in a slum in Malad, as does Abdul Rauf Shaikh, another victim of that September 2002 night. Abdul was then 22 and lost a leg when the SUV ploughed into the sleeping pavement dwellers.
"I was lucky I lived. I do not get good work because of my lost leg, I do petty jobs to support my family. But I know if the courts of man cannot give justice to the poor like me, in the house of God I will be heard," Abdul said.