Yesterday, through fluke and a mischance, actually had a spare day in which to fill with mindless gossiping with friends over a cup of piping hot cappuchino, yummy grilled sandwiches and mindless shopping. So there we were. Three moms. Moi, mom to one, and still looking like pregnancy weight needed to be shed hasta la vista. Another friend, also mom to one, the same age as mine own, lithe, sleek and flat bellied like one of them Egyptian belly dancers, and the third, mom to two, with the second one barely having popped out a few months ago, back to being sleek and lithe and flat bellied, and having the good sense to do a fitness instructor’s course during her nursing days. Unlike lazy moi who considers running around only offspring to be the only form of exercise worth doing.
Yes, yes, yes. Felt like the fat ugly friend of the group all over again, and had I closed my eyes, it could have been me, blast from the past, back in the college canteen, being the fat funny one, in outdated clothes, and unmatched shoes, while the rest of the girls were getting the glad eyes from the hunks around. Then one of the duo pipes up, “You know, you look exactly like Tisca Chopra?”
I did a double take. I would have preferred a Jennifer Lopez or a Jennifer Gartner, or even a Madhuri Dixit, or even Malaika Arora, but was quite flattered with the Tisca Chopra. Hell, I even have the rapscallion reduction xerox of Ishaan Awasthi minus the bunny teeth back at home. And yes, I have the furrowed worried harassed permanent expression set on my face. I sometimes fail to recognise self if catch glimpse in the mirror of self laughing.
Anyway, that got buried under more urgent gossip about who was divorcing whom, and who was seeing whom, and who had got some work done, and such like. A spot of retail therapy followed, and I staggered with my load into a rickshaw to get back home. Yes, yes. The driver is absconding. Am reduced to toting my carcass around in public transport, much to the horror of self. Sat in empty rickshaw and commandeered driver of said vehicle to take me to my destination. The chappie, in the manner of all autodrivers, started rickshaw off at a rapid trot which meant no brakes, zigzagging to avoid traffic and all the while looking at me strangely in the rear view mirror. Ever felt creepy in the pit of your stomach? That was what was happening. Then he turned his head right around, a 180 degree swivel while the rick was going forth at top speed in Mumbai traffic. I shrieked in fear and inched further into the leatherite, cracked and peeling seat. Painful memories of dislocated fingers from previous rickshaw accident on highway still fresh in memory made me brave, and I hollered sternly, “Kya hai? Aage dekhke chalaon. Nahi to gadi rokon.” He laughed, an evil laugh, that revealed lines of really bad, paanstained teeth. “Nahin madam. Hum aapko theekh se dekh rahen the. Aap Aamir Khan saab ko boliye, bahut hi badhiya picture thi. Aapne bhi badiya acting ki thi. Woh munna tho bahut he badmaaas hai….” He looked ahead momentarily to get his bearings and breath back. “Bahut hi badiya picshur thi!” Eh? Tisca, you have one autodriver fan. By default.
What do you think? Do we match any? The same comparison twice in the span of a single day really has me flummoxed.
Edited to add: Asked the husband said question to be met with quizzical look and raised eyebrow which suggested “Dont flatter yourself.” That settled the debate.