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    Try visualising twins. Most people of my vintage are likely to imagine a bowler-hatted, walking stick-wielding, black suit-wearing, moustachioed imagery of two comic detectives who go by the names Thomson and Thompson. Now here’s the kicker: although they appear identical and have near-similar names, the fictional fact is, they aren’t at all twins.
    Can you see the games the mind plays? Similar dressed people with similar names somehow create an illusion of sameness. That’s why child psychologists have implored parents time and again to stay away from the ‘Ramesh/Suresh’, ‘Seeta/Geeta’ and ‘Ram/Shyam’ templates. The theory is it impedes the development of a distinctive persona.
    Despite the protests of experts, moms and dads everywhere prefer a semblance of similarity while naming twins. Part of the blame should be apportioned to our screenwriters who are downright lazy when it comes to devising nomenclature.
    A cursory look at Bollywood and Kollywood will reveal the extent of predictability. In Chaalbaaz, Sridevi played Anju and Manju. The twin villains in Ghajini were Ram and Lakshman. Back in the 60s, Neetu Singh was Ganga and Jamuna in Do Kaliyaan. Dharmendra doubled up as Ajay and Vijay in Ghazab.
    Tamil actor Ajith takes the cake. In Vaali, he was Deva and Shiva. With Villain, he became Shiva and Vishnu. Finally in Varalaaru he chose to be Vishnu and Jeeva. In Khiladi 420, Akshay Kumar appears as Dev and Anand. Although I must add, that things got a lot wilder with Khiladi 786. Akshay donned the avatars of Bahattar Singh and Tehattar Singh. For those of you who are clueless about Hindi, Bahattar is 72 while Tehattar is 73. The most memorable twin names I can think of in Tamil films was in Jeans. Prashant portrayed Vishwanathan and Ramamurthi, a nod to the music composer duo who dominated the industry before the Ilaiyaraja era.
    Things have improved in Bollywood too. Aamir Khan slipped effortlessly into the skins of Sahir Khan and Samar Khan in Dhoom 3. Sahir and Samar are both Urdu words that have a connection with night/after dark. In contrast, Hollywood is a lot more creative. The Japanese twins in Austin Powers in Goldmember were called Fook Mi and Fook Yu. Surely, we can learn a trick or two from them!

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