Somewhere in 1910, there was Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest and the real Charlie Chaplin took part in that contest. Guess what? He did not even make it to the finals.
In 1990 was the first time I met my look-alike. It was an orientation camp for freshmen. The first time I saw my look-alike, I muttered to myself,”This guy really looks like me”. When we introduced ourselves to each other, he was the one who brought up the matter about our uncanny resemblance to each other. We then joked about it and got along very well. We even played pranks on others by claiming that we were twins.The best part about it was that everyone believed us.
After that camp I never met my look-alike again. He went to an engineering school and I switched from engineering to join a design school. We did exchange contact numbers but I lost my phone book(yes, no mobile phones yet) several weeks after that. It was a decade later that I met another look-alike of myself for a second time.
In the second meeting, I was helping out a friend doing a video shoot inside a public restroom which was located in a market. As we were setting up video equipment inside, some men were still using the restroom. Then out of nowhere, a guy wearing a white T-shirt and khaki colored pants walked in. I was standing along the corridor in front of a row of cubicles, setting up a tripod at that time and failed to notice his entrance.
It was my friend Roy, who noticed our uncanny resemblance to each other. Roy then jokingly shouted out aloud from the other end of the corridor,” Sharif, your brother!” My look-alike at that moment was standing at the washbasin with his back facing me.
I looked up and caught a glimpse of my look-alike smiling through the reflection of the washbasin mirror. That really caught me by surprise and I was dazed for a few seconds. He then turned around to face me, still smiling. He paused for a few seconds to take a better look at me. I smiled back and managed to have a better look at him as well. He was slightly stockier but his facial features was just all too familiar to me. It was as if I was looking at myself in the mirror.
After that brief moment, he just turned towards the exit and walked off but still smiling(probably still processing in his head what he had just witnessed). I remember that smile of his vividly right till he walked out the door. I just simply recognise my own smile. Of course Roy and me burst into a laughter right after that. It was an awkward moment but an eventful day no doubt.
So do I have one of the most common faces in this world? Highly plausible. Are scientists always right? Not every time. There were two incidents after that day when someone had mistakenly identified me for someone else. By then, I was no longer surprised anymore. I just simply said to myself,” My look-alike must be at work again”.