Man in the Mirror

2 min read · Posted on: Nov 22, 2008 · Print this page

Have to even seen yourself briefly other than in your own reflection? Have you ever wondered if there are other people who are identical to you in appearance but nowhere related to you? There is a word for it - Doppelgänger. As per Wikipedia:

…They are generally regarded as harbingers of bad luck. In some traditions, a doppelgänger seen by a person’s friends or relatives portends illness or danger, while seeing one’s own doppelgänger is an omen of death. In Norse mythology, a vardøger is a ghostly double who precedes a living person and is seen performing their actions in advance.

There also a Malayalam movie called Aparan based on this concept. It is the first film of the actor Jayaram by the acclaimed Director/Writer Padmarajan. In the film, the doppelgänger truly upturns the protagonist’s life. However, there are no double role gimmicks employed. The presentation is very sensitive and gripping.

In this era of cloning, any part of your body - split hair or even saliva can be used to create an entire replica of yours. Gene therapy may soon make this a reality. Will your clone bring you bad luck as some Hollywood movies predict? Most likely, because most people wouldn’t enjoy the company of someone with exactly the same nature as yours. Even worse he or she will covet the same things you would covet. This could mean you will be competing with your clone in many spheres of your life for e.g. dating. And the winner would be, most probably, based on chance because your skills/qualities are evenly matched. A little frustrating isn’t it?

Whoever said Imitation is the most sincere form of Flattery, most certainly didn’t think of clones!

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Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Works as a Product Manager at Google. Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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