Reading a book by someone whose name “rhymes with sprinkle and wrinkle”? I don’t think so. That, by the way, is not me taking a jab at the author Twinkle Khanna, but one of the very candid digs at herself that Mrs Funnybones makes during the course of the book. And this is what made me pick up the book. Honestly, despite all their chic poise and impeccable dressing sense, I don’t have a particularly great opinion of our Bollywood starlets. Jokes on Alia Bhatt’s intellect are by now stale and have you ever heard the style diva Sonam talk? My point simply is that when it comes to matters of the brain, even our new age leading ladies leave plenty to be desired.
So, it was with a lot of scepticism that I had read Twinkle Khanna’s column a while ago. In fact a friend sent me the link and I was pleasantly surprised. Not that I became her avid reader. I would read it whenever she sent me the link, have a good laugh and that was it. Purchasing the book was more a matter of necessity rather than choice- on my flight from Bangalore to Chandigarh, I didn’t have too many options to kill time. It was then that the Twinkling Mrs Funnybones came to my rescue. And truth be told, I enjoyed every bit of it.
First things first, the book isn’t going to go down annals of Indian writing in English as a trailblazer or anything of the sort and it’s not meant to either. What it in fact does do is give you few good laughs as Twinkle Khanna takes you on a roller coaster ride through the trials and tribulations of a working mother. If you are expecting any voyeurish peeps into the life of the rich and famous Bollywood couple, you’ll be sorely disappointed.Quite to the contrary, it is this very down to earth, easy to relate tone and setting that makes the book immensely readable and likeable. The Bollywood superstar husband, like most husbands, makes fleeting appearances in his wife’s life and is given due tongue in cheek deference as the “man of the house”. The only peep you get into this 5 star life is the rather infamous incident of her unbuttoning her husband’s jeans at a fashion show. And that too sans any drama but with all of her trademark humour. Yesteryears sexy Bobby is just another annoying yet lovable mother, who, like all mothers, has done innumerable things down the years to traumatize her daughter at different stages in her life, starting with naming her “Twinkle”!! Her 11 something year old boy is rightly referred to as the “prodigal son” and the little baby, as, well, the baby. Like most married women, her life involves juggling around work, family and numerous other chores as well that were until late taken care of by men but are now dumped, among other things, on women. With a battery of “domestic wonders” and likes of Mansukh Bhai, the internet man, at her disposal, her life is definitely better than most women but at the end of the day it’s the same universal issues that she’s dealing with – growing up children, recalcitrant mom in law etc etc.
Her style is rather like that of Bridget Jones novels- perhaps it’s the chronological narration of the day and events that give this impression or the overall nonchalant air, but Bridget Jones is what came to mind as I started reading the book. Lucid, easy going, it carries the reader through. Since it is a collection of her columns, one can leave it anywhere and pick up any chapter randomly and start reading. Funny and light as the book is, she often touches a nerve and makes you sit back and think…as she reflects while saying good bye to her son, who is going on a school trip – “ One day he will be in my place and what he will learn is that trying and holding on are complicated and challenging things, but the most difficult thing in life is to love fiercely and then let go”.
Yes, so it is. Life is a myriad blend of the lofty and the banal and the more you can laugh and carry on, easier it is. Mrs Funnybones does exactly that making it a worthwhile read.