‘Conjoined twins are our daughters and the apple of our eyes’

Riddhi and Siddhi, the Wadia twins
Riddhi and Siddhi in their room in Wadia Hospital

For three-and-a-half-years-old Riddhi and Siddhi, their small world starts and ends within the premises of the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital in Parel. And for them, everyone including doctors, nurses and ward boys are their ‘mumma’ and ‘dada’.

Born as conjoined twins, Riddhi and Siddhi were separated on January 17, 2014 and since then the hospital has been their home. Not only have the toddlers become an integral part of the hospital, they are also the centre of attention and doctors as well as staff shower them with gifts on every festival and special occasion.

Step into a special room in the paediatric ward and the first thing that will catch anyone’s attention is their mischievous smile. Riddhi and Siddhi’s tiny room, which is filled with soft toys, cars, toy kitchen-set and dolls and even has beautifully-painted walls, lights up with the smile of the twin sisters.

“They have become a part of our lives and are the apple of our eyes,” said the caretaker, while getting them ready for their evening walk. Every evening, the girls are taken out for a walk in the Wadia garden.

While getting ready, Riddhi, interrupting the conversation, looks affectionately at the caretaker and says, “Mala nail polish laun de na mumma,” (please apply nail polish for me, mumma).

“Riddhi and Siddhi love applying nail polish, mehendi (henna), make-up and all things girlie,” adds the caretaker. These pretty girls are provided with every little thing that they need as well as wish for in their daily routine. The caretaker says the girls are each other’s best friend and are protective towards each other.

When asked what do they like doing in their free time, the caretaker said they love mobile phones and watching TV. “Chhota Bheem amhala khup aawadtoy,” (We really like Chhota Bheem) the twins said in chorus with an innocent smile. The girls know how to operate the gadgets, including the laptop, without any assistance and are often seen operating any doctor’s laptop. In fact, they enjoy watching TV so much that the caretaker switches it on while feeding them food, “both love watching songs and cartoons,” added the caretaker.

They are also showing keen interest in art as they have scribbled the walls with drawings and paintings after the doctors and staff teach them how to draw and write.

“They love getting photographed. As soon as they see a camera, they will start posing. Soon, these girls will be going to school too,” said Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of the hospital.

Dr Bodhanwala added that their morning begins with Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy and Therapeutic Recreation (OTPTTR), in afternoon they sleep as the therapy tires them.

“From a sweeper to a surgeon, anyone who has interacted with the girls, have a story to share about the girls. Their day begins and ends with the kids,” said a staff.

“The girls are Wadia hospital’s daughters. They are growing normally and 24 hours are taken care with all our love. Twins spread positive and happy energy in the hospital,” the CEO beamed with pride.