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As kids, the twins chattered a lot. They constantly interrupted each other and never made much sense to others either. They were overtly chirpy and out of control. On an unfortunately hot day, when the teenage boys were annoying her more than usual, the mother just snapped. Using the powers she was granted from being tolerant for years together, she cursed them. ‘Only one of you can talk at a particular time.’

A flash in the sky, torrential downpour later, the teenage boys grew silent. Not realising what her curse meant, she enjoyed the new found silence. Over the years she noticed that only one of them spoke for months on while the other remained hidden in silence. Occasionally, he responded in mono-syllables. Especially when the other was real chatty. She tried to undo her error but they remained like that despite all her efforts. Even if they weren’t in the same space, same room or same city even; only one of them spoke at a particular time. It was the consequence of her curse and she had to live with it. But no amount of begging, pleading or praying the mighty gods was able to undo her curse. The twins themselves never questioned their cycles of silence and speech. They accepted it blindly.

Until one day, a dame walked into one of the twin’s life. She noticed the clear signs of tampering and called out the mother. The mother denied it for hours before caving and narrating the whole story. The dame felt sorry for the twins trapped in the cycle. Unfortunately for the twins, she couldn’t change their fate. She kept the mother’s secret and never told a soul.