The fire was probably started by some trivia fiend on his 22nd viewing of Andaz Apna Apna and ended up staring at the guy in the backseat of the bus. Looks a lot like Shashi Tharoor, doesn’t he? And with the Kerala angavastram, he had to be!
It gained enough traction on internet discussion forums to reach Shashi Tharoor himself, which was not very difficult since the politician is quite responsive on Twitter.
One of the earliest instances happened in May 2011 when he was asked about becoming Kerala CM and his presence in AAA almost simultaneously. He denied his presence in all movies:
"Not me! I've declined every invitation2appear in the movies. Mind you, they all came well after I had passed my use-by date!"
By Feb 2012, Mr. Tharoor was exasperated enough to call for the guy to identify himself so that people stopped asking him! (Needless to say, nothing came out of it.)
By end of 2013, people were happily trolling him and that Mr Tharoor was angry, was an understatement.
This curiosity was – by now – quite widespread to hit mainstream media. Enough for Times of India to do an ‘investigation’ to find the lookalike. They contacted Vinay Sinha, the producer of the film, and even sent him a screenshot. He replied, "There is a resemblance but I assure you it is not Shashi Tharoor. There were no casting directors then and nobody would remember the junior artiste's name now."
Satire and humour site Faking News promptly circulated a series of iconic Bollywood scenes, each of which seemed to have Shashi Tharoor in it!
Mr Tharoor had – by now – realised that when you can’t beat ‘em, it is better to join ‘em. Last month, when a lady asked him on Twitter if he was in Maldives, he retorted that it was probably “the fellow who acted in andaz apna apna!”
That leaves no questions about Mr Tharoor’s sense of humour.
Only one question remains: So how do we trace that guy?