If youre going to Pune railway station,chances are youll be greeted at the gate by a tall,bespectacled young girl wholl ask for your ticket. This is a fairly ordinary part of Aleena Zacharias job as a senior ticket collector (TC) and people usually hand her their tickets without much ado. Its only when they look up however,that they are surprised by a mirror image of her standing just a few feet away,with the same athletic stance,wearing the same brown salwar-kurta uniform,and even the same pink watch and white sneakers. This too,is a fairly regular occurrence,says Aleena,whose twin sister,Anila is also a senior TC at the station.
People get confused all the time when they see us. Once there was this man who saw Anila at one end of the station,and then saw me at the other end. He was so puzzled,he came and asked me how I got there so quickly, she says. The sisters,both 23 years old,moved to Pune about three years ago from Kannur,in Kerala,and have been working at the station ever since. In the beginning,everyone would be surprised when they saw us. Now everyone who works at the station,and even most of the regular passengers know that we are twins, says Anila. In fact,there is only one small difference that can help tell them apart – Aleenas face is slightly longer and narrower than Anilas – a difference that is missed by most people.
Their normal working hours are from 8 am to 4 pm,but because they have to fit four hours of volleyball practice everyday,they collect tickets until 12 and practise volleyball for four hours. Here too their looks and similar-sounding names has caused some chaos.