These young twins from India have a very rare condition: they share 1 body, being joined at the waist while having 2 separate upper torsos. Despite the challenges their situation poses, they nevertheless keep a positive attitude in life.
Meet Sohna and Mohna, conjoined twins from Amritsar, a city in northwestern India. They were born with a condition called, dicephalic parapagus, which is a form of ‘partial twinning,’ where both twins are conjoined, side-by-side.
While they each have their own heart, spinal column, pair of arms, and kidneys, they share a liver, gall bladder, and spleen; and they each control 1 of their 2 legs. Scientists still do not fully understand how the boys are able to live in one body controlled by 2 brains.
A documentary about the twins revealed some findings of their rare condition. Dr. Rakesh Chouhan said, “It’s still a mystery and we’re not 100 percent sure how these things are happening.”
Despite being conjoined, they are still very much two separate individuals. Besides having their own minds, they also dress separately, fall asleep at separate times and have 2 distinct senses of touch.
“Sohna and Mohna think as two separate people,” said nanny, Parmjit Kaur, “With shoes or socks, Sohna will put on his own and Mohna will put on his own. They will never put them on for each other.”
“When they’ve been playing we tell them to wash their hands and legs. Sohna will wash his leg and walk away so we have to take Mohna back so he can wash his leg. That’s how it is.”
They nevertheless share many similar traits. They are both curious, bright and just love pranks. When the twins are accused of pulling the girls’ hair, they answer: “Who said that?”
Malkiat Singh, the electrician at the Pingalwara House for Destitutes said, “They want to open up everything and see how it works. And they never forget what you tell them once.
“The other day they opened the three-pin plug of a cooler, took out a pin and put it back. I had a hard time trying to find the fault.”
The twins seem to have few problems doing well at school. Their classmates admire them for their intelligence. They have friends, of which their closest is Harpreet—a quiet boy who they had known since they were young. Another long-time classmate of the twins said, “No one is ever mean to them.”
Their teachers are also satisfied with the twins’ performance. “They are attentive in class, score well in exams, and do their homework diligently,” said Pooja Sharma.
The twins sharing 1 body indeed have 2 very different personalities. Sohna is more dominating, while Mohna is the quieter, shyer one. This distinction is also reflected in their academic endeavors. It is usually Sohna who writes on the board when they are asked to answer a question.
While Sohna has always been into music, Mohna was always reserved towards it; though it seems, he has recently developed more of a taste for it, even wanting to learn a drum instrument called the tabla.
On the weekends, they both enjoy watching comedies and cricket.
Despite their unusual condition, Sohna and Mohna are very much like normal kids, who like to have fun and enjoy discovering new things about the world. As Dr. Inderjit Kaur, President of Pingalwara said, “They are like any other normal children. We want them to blossom to their full potential.”
Although they face their own challenges on a daily basis, they have a positive attitude towards life. How lovely that the two siblings are able to see the rainbow after the rain.