By Priyangwada Perera Ceylon Today Features
For these set of identical twins brilliance has come from the zygote they shared. Leave aside what the biological science book says, they have proven it. Sisters, Ilmi Adeeshani and Ilni Adeeshani have aced this year’s Advanced Level examinations by ranking Colombo District 82nd and 144th respectively, in the Science stream. “We both were so much similar in everything we did. Whether we studied or did sports, we showed more or less the same talents,” said Ilmi, the younger of the two. Born to M. Mudith Hemantha and J. Nileeka Perera, Ilni and Ilmi started school from i-Gate College, an international school in Thalawathugoda.
From there, both attended the Malabe Sri Rahula Balika Maha Vidyalaya for Grade 3, and subsequently they both entered Visakha Vidyalaya through the Grade 5 Scholarship exam. Back then, they were “too young to understand the importance of the scholarship exam,” Ilmi noted while adding that thus, all credit goes to their parents who have always been their strength and guiding lights.
They worked hard to prepare them for their Grade 5 scholarship and every step of the way since, she reiterated. Even until Grade 9, they were pretty much focussing on their extracurricular activities and sports. “Coming to Grade 10, we decided that we should pay attention to our studies. We thought we must try to score well enough to get 9As. We then started focussing on studies with a new energy. So, we worked a little harder during the two years.” Speaking to Teen Inc, the youngest shared that as long as they could remember they always had only one ambition and that was to become doctors. “That is why we had no doubt about choosing Biology as our subject stream for Advanced Level.
Nobody told us or forced us. It was something we both knew, even when we were much younger. We knew what we wanted to do.” By the time they entered Advanced Level, their aim was bright and clear. To get through to do medicine was their aim. They knew they had to keep their priority straight but that didn’t stop them from partaking in other school activities. “We continued to play interschool volleyball. We were also active members in various societies in school. Akki was the Vice President of the Astronomical Society and I was a member of the Science Society,” Ilmi explained. Doing Biology is no easy task. “It is tough. Competition is also tough.
But we managed. We focussed on our goal and got going. We kept our ambition in mind,” Ilni said with confidence. When asked out of the three subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics what her favourite is, out came the spontaneous answer. “Chemistry,” Ilni responded. Even though that was not really the answer we guessed, she explained why Chemistry is her favourite. “It is the easiest of the three subjects” she said, and when told there might be many who disagree with her, she laughed. As for preparation, though they had study groups in school, the twins never went to their friends’ places to study, as they had an advantage of having each other to revise with.
After classes, in the night they would sit down to study “but we never strained ourselves burning midnight oil. We never stayed back after midnight when the term tests were around the corner. As one has to have at least five hours of sleep we only got up early to study,” they reasoned out. Apart from their own efforts, both Ilni and Ilmi were full of praise for their school teachers, paying them due credit for their success. “Teachers gave us extra support. Each unit was covered by giving us test papers in the end.
Some students do not come but we did not miss a single term test. So, we knew what our level was, what we were good at and what we were not so good at. Term tests were a good evaluation. School supported us very much,” the duo said. They both agreed that, “If you have a target, give it some weight. Focus on it and work hard. But don’t get stressed about it. Your love for what you do is what matters. Nobody should force you. If you have no interest it is pointless.” On a lighter note, they shared that although they look very much alike, their parents and close friends do not mix them up but on occasion their class teachers used to get them confused. For fun and games they both did athletics, netball, football, elle, and kabadi.
And besides that, they also love to read and watch movies. Together they even dance. “In grades 10 and 11, our school has big concerts called Miyesi Visaka. We took part and enjoyed dancing. Even though we did not compete as dancers, we danced at each school show and concert. As a subject, we learnt Kandyan Dancing but for concerts, we did all types of dance,” Ilmi gave some insight to their fun side.
In conclusion they opined, “The message we want to give the youngsters or anyone doing Advanced Level is to work hard during these two years. But to keep it cool. Do not pressurise yourself,” and all will flow seamlessly, to achieve your desired results. All you need is a little bit of fun, a little bit of strength and support, and a whole lot of study time. (Pix by Udesh Ranasinha)