Have you ever heard someone comment, “Oh…I know someone who looks so much like you or you look just like ‘so and so’!” especially if they are meeting you for the first time? And the people they draw your similarity to, could be totally unknown to you.

It is fun to momentarily believe that we have not one, or two but 7 doppelgangers around the world. Scientific research says that the odds of it happening are flipping a coin 64 million times and getting the tail always.

So could cloning have been experimented long long ago? Well, maybe!

There are various contexts available for doppelgangers. In most places, it means a lookalike or a double of a living person, though in some places it is linked to paranormal phenomenon and a forewarning of bad luck. History shares that Abraham Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth I, Poet Shelly and writer, Guy De Maupassant had found their doppelgangers.

Story has it that Maupassant’s doppelganger sat down beside him and dictated a short story, which the writer admits was ghostwritten – written by his very own ghost!

Another interesting anecdote has it that on the night of his first election, Abraham Lincoln looked at a mirror and his reflection had two faces.

Oh no…. this is not one of those scary blogs…my blog will be all about doppelgangers with their humorous angles.

During my vacation to Kolkata this summer, my husband insisted that we both go and treat ourselves to some “Phuchkas” (the Kolkata cousins of Paani-puris, Gol Guppeys and Paani Pataasheys). The Phuchka waale bhaiya as we refer to the vendor, who strategically stood at the crossing of major roads of the Southern Avenue, got very agitated seeing me. I guessed that could have been a result of a bad day, poor sales.

He could not contain his anger and after a minute or so blurted out in a very Bihari tone, “why do you nowadays go to my cousin at Lake Market for Phuchkas?”

Oh I see…. feel of loss of customer loyalty, was the reason…I thought. Hmmm….

I was zapped initially and then politely explained that was not possible since I had just landed in Kolkata and did not live in the city anymore.

He would not believe me and insisted that he had seen me regularly going there to eat Phuchkas from his cousin.

“The same face, the same mannerisms…I know I am not making a mistake,” he justified himself.

Fact was I was feasting on his products after more than 5 years.

Till the end he did not believe….and I just let that incident pass with a sigh.

Though my husband teased me and asked if I was indeed going to Lake Market to eat Phuchkas !

My doppelganger had seriously upset the Phuchka Man.

Last week, I went to the nearest shopping mall to pick up some shirts that my kids needed at school. And I saw two women walking in front of me. One of them had long hair which was light colored. She was wearing an electric pink dress which contrasted with the color of her hair. With her was a lady, whose hair was golden and short. She was casually dressed in jeans and a white top. I was walking behind them and a general assumption was probably they are from Europe, one a Dutch and the other possibly anywhere from Europe.

I heard them giggle as they headed for the elevator.

Then what I heard took me by surprise.

The supposedly Dutch lady asked “Jyare Navratri Che (When is Navratri)?

Her friend answered, “October 1 – 9.”

I paced my steps and took a turn. They were both very fair.

Did I actually hear them conversing in Gujarati or was it only an imagination? Maybe they are Europeans who have picked up the Indian language. Why not? If Tom Alter can deliver dialogues in Hindi movies with so much of proficiency, then this could also be a reality.

Or maybe, their mothers are Indian and possible Gujarati.…. I shall explain this comment.

Once a friend of mine narrated this incident…her cousin Rajesh Nair went for an interview. The interviewer was a Nair himself, so he started the discussion in Malayalam. Rajesh excused himself saying his mother was from Assam and hence his mother tongue was Assamese…. he could only converse in English, Hindi and Assamese fluently.

All kinds of theories started buzzing in my mind ……I decided to approach them.

I started off, “Hi…I hope you don’t mind. But you speak Gujarati fluently…. have you been living in India for some time or……?”

“We are Gujaratis from Ahmadabad.” Answered the blonde lady.

I looked at their hair and then at their faces as if I was not able to connect the two.

The light haired lady covered her mouth and chuckled.

The blonde lady spoke up again, “My name is Sejal Ben and she is my sister Hetal Ben. We both work in the nearby bank. After a hectic day, we decided to go to the salon to color our hair. There were two more customers with the same requirement at the salon that day. We did not realize that we would become victims of errors that day…after all we were their regular customers. But that had to be the day of “Comedy of Errors” and we now look as Europeans…ha! ha!”

We exchanged some pleasantries and parted ways.

I had to go to the supermarket to buy some flour and when I returned to my building, I spotted Sejal Ben and Hetal Ben near the lift.

Wow! Small world…I thought…. never knew that they lived in the same building or probably they are here to visit someone.

I walked up to them and said, “Hi…we meet again, Sejal Ben and Hetal Ben. So, do you live here?”

“Zorry Habibi…err.do I know you?” said the light haired lady.

I shook my head in disbelief and then realized they were wearing different clothes, yet the facial features bore an uncanny resemblance……a clear case of mistaken identity.

A Lebanese doppelganger!! And what a coincidence they were a pair… a pair of doppelgangers together!What are the odds of finding them in pairs?? Seriously!! Was I dreaming?? I pinched myself and realized I was not.

Have you met your doppelganger yet?

If not, maybe you will someday………it could be fun and eerie too!

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