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Ash has surprise visitor

india Updated: Apr 19, 2007 03:46 IST

Most took him to be Abhishek Bachchan — till he reached Aishwarya Rai’s doorstep.

Devi Singh Purohit, a shopkeeper from Rajasthan, with a shake of his head and a wave of his hand, entered Rai’s high-security Bandra complex in a white Mercedes on Tuesday. He then took the lift up to the actress’s floor and was about to walk into her apartment when a neighbour and Rai's brother called his bluff. A Mumbai tabloid had sent the 24-year-old lookalike of Abhishek there — with a bouquet — to see how convincing he could be in front of the actor’s fiancée.

Purohit can be convincing. He said he had often been mobbed. “There have been times when people have waited in queue while I finished a meal at a restaurant. I don’t want to disappoint people, so I oblige them and pose for photos and sign autographs,” he told HT on Wednesday.

He signs his own name, though. He did not say what the fans made of that.

It all started when Abhishek’s film Refugee released in 2000. “That’s when people began calling me Abhishek Bachchan,” Purohit said. As Abhishek’s career blossomed, Purohit got more attention. A month ago, he moved from Jaisalmer to Mumbai, sensing that opportunities lay here.

He was not wrong. He has been offered seven films in three weeks. “I am considering which ones to sign,” he said. The one that he has signed is titled Aishwarya Rai. Purohit plays Abhishek.

Has he ever met Abhishek? “I went to the sets of Drona when Abhishek was shooting in Bikaner,” Purohit said. There, he got mobbed because onlookers thought he was Abhishek.

Purohit admits to being married. Come April 20, that is another thing he will have in common with Abhishek.