The concept of twins has always been enveloped by mystery. In a small village in Uttar Pradesh, twins are as much a fact of life as the sun rising in the east every single day. Visit this village to watch God at His creative best…
The Bard of Avon wrote about twins in his very famous play, The Comedy of errors. We saw its desi version, Angoor, with the ever-so-versatile Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma leaving us in splits. But what if you walk into a scenario with not one, not two, but almost sixty pairs of twins.
This one will sure be a saga of endless confusion!
Mohammadpur Umri, a tiny hamlet near the Air Force base at Bamrauli, near Allahabad, offers just this. Of a total population of a few hundred (nearly 900), there are at least 60 pairs of twins here. Going by scientific knowledge, even two pairs in a population of 600 is considered high.
A Genetic Goldmine
According to science, the odds of a woman giving birth to twins is one in 300. Only one in 240 pairs are identical. Contrast this to the village of Umri where every family has at least one pair of twins and quite a considerable number of them are identical.
Going by this measuring rod, this village, with its exceptional twin population is nothing less than a genetic goldmine.
Twins are an exciting, amazing scientific mystery. Most of the people (including me) just keep staring at them in awe. Strikingly identical, carbon copies, mirror images they are! And here in Mohammadpur Umri, similar sights greet visitors. Twins wearing the same clothes make it difficult for mothers, fathers and in worst cases, even the husband/wife to identify which one is who. Sometimes, twins have very similar tastes and likes but on the other extreme, some are as different as chalk and cheese.
For the past many decades, doctors have been trying to unravel the mystery behind the extremely high twin birth rate in this village. Though a definite unanimous reason hasn’t been discovered, it is believed that many factors are at work here. It could be the environment, it could be the food, or the living conditions. Or probably, their genetic make-up. However, the strongest argument is that being a Muslim dominated village, Umri sees a lot of marriages happening within the family.
The twin factor has garnered a lot of media attention for Umri, both national and international. Teams of researchers from all across the globe have come to the village to see for themselves the natural wonders and also to collect blood samples. While they sit in their laboratories trying to figure out a reason behind this phenomenon, Umri continues to grab eyeballs for its ever-increasing twin population.
To say that this village is unique would be an understatement. The truth, in all its scientific perplexity and natural glory, is that the village of Mohammad Umri is nothing short of a miracle!