Together for 80 years & counting: The twin elders of Kalayanthani

 simon johnson.
People found it nearly impossible to differentiate between the twin brothers Simon (L) and Johnson. Photo: Reju Arnold/Manorama
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Thodupuzha: There are mainly two reasons why the 80-year-old twin brothers in Kalayanthani, a suburb of Thodupuzha in Kerala's Idukki district, earned their title, 'Kalayanthani Appachanmar'.

One, they hold a special place among the people there and two, it's too hard for anyone to distinguish between the twin brothers. The identical twins always dress the same and even have similar mannerisms. In Malayalam, 'aappachan' means an elderly person.

The twin brothers Simon and Johnson had a taste of stardom in thier locality when they acted in a song sequence in Jayasurya-starrer ‘Janapriyan’. But long before the film, which was released in 2011, the twins had secured their special status and the moniker in Kalayanthani. And they have never been separated all these years.

They have taken all their important decisions in life together. Even when they had to choose their life partners, they decided that their brides should be twins as well.

Both of them retired as peons from the St George School in Kalayanthani. Even after their retirement, they were active in the Kalayanthani milieu.

But age seems to have caught up with them, and the elderly men now complain that they are unable to step out much.

October 1 is observed as International Day of Older Persons.

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