Indian “Benjamin Button Siblings” Look Older Than Their Parents

Keshav and Anjali Kumar, two young siblings from Jharkhand, India suffer from two rare conditions known as Cutis Laxa and Progeria, which make them look incredibly old for their age.

The Indian brother and sister originally made news headlines as the “Benjamin Button siblings” in 2016. Anjali was 7 at the time, and her younger brother was only 18-months-old, but they both already looked like octogenarians. And not only was their skin unusually wrinkly and saggy, but they both suffered from joint pain associated with old age. This paradoxical situation earned them the nickname ‘Benjamin Button siblings,’ after the fictional character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story. Keshav and Anjali Kumar were diagnosed with progeria and cutis laxa, two exceptionally rare conditions that are, unfortunately, incurable.

Photo: Danie Franco/Unsplash

Born in Ranchi, the capital of the Indian state of Jharkhand, Keshav and Anjali have had to deal not only with the joint pain caused by their conditions but also with the bullying and mockery of other kids who call them all sorts of nasty nicknames and laugh at their appearance. Unfortunately, there is only so much their parents and older sister can do to help.

“The children in school call me names like daadi amma (grandmother), budhiya (old lady), bandariya (monkey), or hanuman (a Hindu monkey lord) and it annoys me,” Anjali said in an interview.


Back in 2016, it was reported that the sibling parents, Shatrughan Rajak and Rinki Devi, wished they could do more for their children, but doctors had told them that there was no way to help them in India, and even abroad the only option was to make their pain more bearable. The family was not very well off, so because they couldn’t afford any allopathic medicine, the two children were only treated with homeopathic medicine that had no positive effects.

Both cutis laxa and progeria have symptoms that are more than skin-deep, and sufferers generally have low immunity levels and are already at great risk of arthritis, chest infections, and even heart attacks.


Luckily, things have changed for the better for Keshav and Anjali ever since their story was first covered by the news media, almost six years ago. After photos of their aged faces did the rounds online, an NGO called Care Today Fund contacted the siblings’ parents and offered them medical assistance. Anjali and Keshav have since undergone facelifts to mitigate the wrinkles and sagginess of their skin and look a lot better than they did in 2016.

Truly’s Born Different channel recently posted a YouTube video on Keshav and Anjali Kumar, and reported that the two are virtually inseparable and support each other to overcome the difficulties they face every day.