Bus rides can be tedious, irritating, simply boring, a hell of a time but never a stalking ground and a place for fun. Well that’s what I thought before this happened. Last week, I was returning from Bandra and I got into an AC bus going to Vashi. The bus was jam-packed and so obviously even after paying 50 bucks, I was involuntarily swinging from side to side as the driver manoeuvred the turns.
The fun began when a nice gentleman got up and offered me his seat. I protested, ofcourse, but you know how it is with gentlemen they take offence, so, well, I gave in. Now that I didn’t have to bother from falling on top of anybody, I carelessly glanced around and what do I see. My cousin is sitting right in front on those two awkwardly positioned seats that face the commuters and the asshole didn’t offer me a seat let alone take my bag, which was heavy. Ok, I hadn’t seen him before. So, maybe, he didn’t see me either. I gave him the benefit of doubt and messaged him.
Me: Are you in 505?
Cousin: No. I’m in 201.
Cousin: Wait. What’s 505?
Me: Bus number. (Dumbo. Why would i ask you your flat no, I have been there countless times, I’m thinking to myself.)
Me: There is a guy here who looks exactly like you. Ditto. Same. Exactly same.
Cousin: Yeah right. Nice. One of my six lookalikes stays in Bombay. Great.
Me: Aren’t you excited. I found your doppelganger. Some enthusiasm would be nice. Dude, are you sure you are not kidding with me? I’ll kill you if you are. Where are you exactly?
Cousin: What should I do, tell me? And I’m at home. How are you?
Me: I’m fine. (Not in the mood for pleasantries though) Dude, this is you. Even his hairstyle is the same. Are you sure you are not kidding? Ok, I’ll tell you what I’ll get his photo then you can see for yourself.
All this while, I am staring wide-eyed at this guy in between playing message-message with my cousin and smiling like an idiot. The cousin (looksexactlythesame) is staring back at me in a way you do when you know someone is staring at you. He must think I am unhinged. But it’s not my fault this is the first time I have seen anybody’s doppelganger and I am going to take his photo. My reputation is on the line. I try tilting the phone so I can get the damn photo without being too conspicuous. But the lowly 2MP camera is useless. It is at times like these that I reprimand myself for not having a Blackberry. I will have to take his photo when I get down at Vashi. But what if he gets down before? This singular thought has me on the edge of my seat the entire journey. And, well, I am still staring at him. I mean how many identical cousins I am going to find in this lifetime? You know, I really thought the doppelganger stuff is just a stretched notion of HIMYM (How I met your mother) series. I mean, I know people look alike but not the same. But well, they do. I’m living proof. Meanwhile, my cousin wishes me all the best in this high-priority quest.
Yeah, I get the sarcasm. Why can’t he be more supportive and enthusiastic? I would be jumping up and down to meet my well face twin.
Cousin: This is fun for you not for me. Why do I have to see someone that looks exactly like me?
Duh! That’s the whole point. Anyway, people are getting down now, we have reached Vashi. I move to the front of the bus to take his photo but now he is diagonally opposite and I can’t take it without him knowing. I wonder if I should talk to him, tell him point blank I want to take his photo because well you know he looks like (is) my cousin. Nah! He’ll think I am crazy or I am stalking him. He is still on his seat. I relax, he’ll get down at the depot. I have time. The bus stops and he gets up, walks ahead and gets down. Asshole! Why couldn’t he get up earlier so I knew he was getting down so I could have got down. Ok, I am not a stalker! I just find this funny. My sceptic cousin will never believe me now but imagine having your doppelganger living 15 minutes away from you, wicked, isn’t it?