Doppelgangers Unite

Monsoon starts no sooner than the first raindrop hits the weary grass–it has been a long Summer. The rain frees not only the dying lawns but also wee lads, who must now return to school. Thus, one freshman is packing his bags with a bit too much excitement.

The Zesty Doppelganger

“A new semester! I cannot say how excited I am,” Anand says. A new semester means a new chance and another go at salvation. For him, that is mastering programming. He can work out the technical aspects of the school surveillance system to airport security.

“Click!” the alarm shuts off with one swift strike of Anand’s hand having been hovering above. A robot and Anand only vary in excitement. Even a robot hits the bed after a long day, but Anand only longs for the next.

He is out of the house and racing the sun. Any faster, he would have caught it by the spokes of flame around it. Nonetheless, this time, the Sun was spared.

If the front bench seat were human, it would sigh like a man missing the last digit in a lottery. It would think, “Who comes this early,” and soon realise its burdened fate. This kid is one of a kind.

And would you know it, it starts raining. “Not so powerful anymore, are you?” Anand says to the sun. All of a sudden, running footsteps take over the sound of rain as the silhouette of a drenched boy appears.

The Dark Doppelganger

The boy had no umbrella, so he got soaked. He takes off his glasses and keeps them on Amanda’s desk. “Are you good?” Anand asks. “Ah. Yes, but what a way to meet. Let me introduce myself. I am Zarar.” “Hi, Zarar. I am–” as Zarar turns, Anand’s mind stumbles. He is his exact copy. “Anand,” he ends.

“So we are doppelgangers,” they discuss. “What a beautiful coincidence.” Let us play some games. “Guess what I am thinking.” “About rainbows.” “No. Your turn.”

“I will do you one better; ask me favourites,” says Zarar.

“Color.” “Blue.” “Red.”

“Drink.” “Coffee.” “Tea.”

“Sport.” “None.” “Kabaddi.”

The Critical Doppelganger

The two know each other more, but they find nothing extraordinary. Then, Déjà vu happens. Prohor walks in, and it is an unsung dream come true. Another!

They play more games, and they find out they three are distinct. An unexpected feeling seizes the moments they enjoyed–boredom. Now they talk to themselves.

Anand thinks, “These people are awesome. They look like I, but their minds work differently. I could not ask for better friends.”

Zarar thinks, “We are nothing if not United. If we look alike, we must think the same things. These two are dumb, and so they can not keep up with me. They only live to destroy my integrity.”

The newcomer Prohor is critical of the situation. He thinks, “The fantastic Michael Madhusudan Dutta says, ‘Place your plain relatives over those that are skilled but not of the same blood.’ If these people look like me, we have had the same or similar ancestors. They are close to me in that way. Though I am not a narcissist, I shall treat them well not for their looks but our relationship.”

Now, what do you do with a doppelganger (let alone two)? You would probably–“Rob a bank,” Zarar says, and everyone gives him a look of rejection.

“No, we have no guns,” says Anand. “Exactly,” Prohor says after a long awkward silence. “Let us do a magic show,” he suggests. “No, someone finds out in the end. Have you not seen the Movie The Prestige?” Anand asks.

“What do you suggest, then?” Prohor fires back. “A fundraiser.” “Care to explain?” Prohor asks. Anand clears his throat.

“Our games showed that we think differently and like different things. In fact, I am a Hindu; Zarar, you are a Muslim; and Prohor, you are a Buddhist. Our headline will be, “What’s in a face?”

“Yet, what is the point of all this?” says Zarar. “We will prove to the world that our experiences and not looks shape our life.”

“I like that,” Prohor says.

“Epic idea,” Zarar says.

Two “Count me in”s become a “Count us in.” That day made many surprised faces. However, if these youngsters ever accomplish their goals, the world will cheer them on.


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