Tuesday, May 02, 2006


So how many times have you had people stare at you and tell you that you have your father's eyes, mother's eyebrows and uncle's smile? Yup! I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one on this planet who cannot detect glaring similarities between people. Is this a gift that everybody else has? Just imagine the last time you saw a new born crying out aloud. I can bet that there was a family member, standing right next to you, who commented on how the infant "exactly" looked like his/her mother!!! What???? Am I the only one who thinks that all babies look alike? They all have small eyes, chubby cheeks, make spit bubbles and cry every now and then. Obviously, the baby's mother was no different and I'm also quite sure that the next door neighbor's mother was no different either. So when an army of elderly uncles and aunts and strangers that I've never met, stand around and regale over the fact that "he has his grandmother's smile" I get shocked. To make matters worse, I'm a Bengali. Every Bengali family gathering has that over zealous relative who discovers a new physical trait that reminds them of someone else. Over the years, I've heard things ranging from "I have the exact same nose as my mother when she was getting married" to "I have my father's legs". Wow! These people are good when it comes to finding similarities between different body parts. Interestingly, however, these are the same people who don't recognize me when they bump into me on the streets. That's it. I have decided. The next time someone meets me in a family gathering and my mother forces me to go and touch their feet and they look at me all confused and wonder who I am, I'll just lift my trousers and say "Guess who? I have my father's legs you said. So now guess."!!

And it's not just limited to family members. As Indians we love to compare our children with movie stars. While some parents are modernists and settle for "He looks just like Amir Khan", others go old school and talk abt "his hair is like Jeetendra's in Himmatwala!" Whatever!

Sometimes these similarities freak me out completely. For example, everyone tells me that I look like my mother. Great! However, I also have relatives who tell me that I look exactly like what my father did when he was my age. Ok! Rewind back Let's get this straight. If my dad looked like what I do now when he was my age, how come we have zero resemblance now? But that's not it. If I look exactly like my mom now and my dad looked exactly like me when he was my age - that means my dad looked exactly like my mom when he was my age. Eeeeeeeeew! Eeeew! Eew!

Finally, for all those people who have siblings and have secretly wondered which of you look better, you'll never get an honest answer if you just ask people. "You both look nice!" That's the baloney that you'll get. The trick is to go to a family member and ask them which of you resemble their side of the family more. That'll do it. Every family member will stake claim of the better looking sibling. It'll always be "Oh! X is just like your mother and people say that he looks like me too. You on the other hand have taken after your dad ..." Get it?

It is possible to get your father's legs btw http://www.uni.edu/walsh/genetics.html
Read Pratchett. Say, "The Fifth Elephant".
If you have a good Igor, you could really have your father's legs and your mother's nose.
cool!! will try out the trick that you have said in the last para.

Would have said "YES" to all your words if not for my niece..

I have a niece (just a 4 month old).. and have been seeing her.. atleast once per week.. She is just the xerox copy of her father..
@ratna - wow!!! that was way too technical. sadly, i dont have my father's brains to decipher that :((

@arthur - well, i well read people say so - i shall agree :)

@bindhu - so lemme get this straight - your uncle looks exactly like his 4 months old daughter?? :O
i wish i could figure out resemblances too...as soon as i landed in atlanta, we were invited to one of prabhu's friends place for dinner..and there were a few couples with many kids running around.. i finally spotted one kid sticking to one lady and went upto her and said" your daughter looks just like you!".. and guess what? it wasnt her daughter at all!! could it get worse than this??:))
Apparently, it does!
A co-worker (caucasian) adopted a little girl from Korea. She met a woman at the grocery store, who commented,
"Your daughter looks just like you! She is so beautiful!" :-p
haha..but she didnt have to meet the woman from the grocery store again.. i meet up with these people so often and thats one of the very few things they seeem to remember about me!!:((
extremely funny blog..well-written I must say and very very true..

wow! I've just had a son, and I'm as puzzled as you. I mean, granted he's got the most angelic face on earth,but thatjust goes to prove that he doesn't look anything like me or my husband,right?
@ramya - but then you can always spice things up by discussing it with other friends how "did you see that Mrs. De's son looks exactly like Mr. Philip" :D

@qs.gemini - lol!!!! brilliant! :D i can't even imagine the reaction on the person's face :))

@megz - thank you very much :)

@sensorcaine - see, nothing like validation from an actual mother - wish you and your newborn all the very best :)
He he!! You either have to be kidding or have to be dumb ;)

My niece is a miniature copy of my cousin brother (her father)..

And what I mean is.. If you know my brother and have seen him a couple of times...

and then get to see his daughter (even with none of the relatives or her father close in sight)

U can immediately associate her .. with him...

She reminds one of him THAAAT much! :)
Very Very true. Number of times relatives have zapped me by saying that I have my sister's smile or my mother's forehead
LOL can't stop laughing! have been reading your blog for sometime and I love your sense of humour .I wonder where do you get it from? Is it like your mom or your dad?
Btw I belong to your tribe oblivious to physical similarities obvious to others
I was once shown a group photograph by my mom and was asked to identify anyone I knew. I could identify one person who looked so much like my dad; I was wondering what dad was doing in such a gathering. It turned out the picture was actually of my grandfather when he used to be young.

Similarities do happen, although they are overblown by the aunts and uncles.

Very funny post..btw.
@bindu - then you madam have The Gift! coz I can in no way differentiate between babies of any kind :)

@generallyspeaking - see, that's a good combination to have at least :D

@tanvi - thank you very much :)

@ankan - see there is the problem, both my mom and dad have no photgraphs (almost) of them growing up and the ones they have can pass off for anyone in the World :)
hi sagnik, enjoyed reading ur post..
things are worse with me in this matter.when i say i am gujrati,they say (women specialy)i look like marathi!!(god knows if castes too have some kind of typical looks!)
to add to that my last name is bajaj so people get curious to know y i am not "marwari"..
Sometimes it's not even facial or body resemblence. It's just the gestures and the manner of speaking and your body language.

I've heard people tell me I look exactly like my sister, who looks exactly like my mother who tells me I look a lot like my father. :-)
I am so glad there is someone out there who faces the same confusion over looks of newborns as I do. I felt I was a freak. But you know how misery loves company, so now I am happy
Great piece, btw. Couldn't stop laughing
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