You cannot be funny unless you can laugh at yourself. And, Mrs Funnybones aka Twinkle Khanna, who has been tickling many bones with her wit and her own inimitable brand of humour, masters this art. She is the one who can make a joke on herself before she takes a jab at someone else. And that is because, Twinkle, a mother of two, is a self-aware woman. Her bio on Twitter which reads, “A bona fide member of an ambiguous tribe of the new age Indian woman; heavily armed with the weapons of my choice: google and lame jokes,” explains it well. She was ‘desperate’ to quit the showbiz world. And, before anyone trolled her, she herself added a hilarious touch to her tryst with cinema and wished she hadn’t done a single movie.
Coming from an illustrious family (she is the daughter of hitman of Bollywood Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia), Twinkle never felt the pressure of staying in the film industry. She decided to gracefully make an exit at the right time and was courageous enough to accept, “I failed spectacularly as an actor.” Soon the actor-turned-author found her strengths and utilised them well.
Twinkle started off her career as an actor, became an interior designer and then shifted to being an author and a columnist. Her first book Mrs Funnybones: She’s A Lot Like You and a Bit Like Me was part memoir, part musings, part ‘life-of-a-filmstar’s-wife’ and a part about star mommy Dimple Kapadia. In the book, she narrated an incident where she tells her mom, “It’s not funny, Mom, and sometimes you really do make stupid mistakes.’ She snorts, ‘That’s true, I made you.’” Now you know the source of Mrs Funnybones’s wit and humour.
Her second book and her first attempt at fiction writing The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad had four stories, one of a young girl whose progressive idea transforms her village; a man who wears sanitary pads to understand women’s issues and others. Twinkle weaved all the stories in simple language but with a touch of her typical wit. In the book, she made the women of her stories find a place in their own lives. The style and panache of her satirical writing resonated with the readers and one of her short stories Salaam Noni Appa even got adopted into a stage play.
In times, when celebrities fear trolls and life threats, Twinkle has been assertive about her opinions. Last year, on Twitter Twinkle was questioned about her not changing her surname to ‘Kumar’ despite being married to Akshay Kumar for more than 15 years. And for Twinkle Khanna, it took only a tweet and a hashtag to shut the man as she wrote, “A lot of people bring this up, though not as stridently as this gentleman – Khanna it will always be #MarriedNotBranded.” Scroll through her Twitter handle and you may find her take on almost everything happening around in the world, including her middle-age crisis. “Middle age: When you realize that you know a little about everything, but not enough about anything, including yourself #BabaTwinkdev,” read one of her tweets.
Her ‘thank you’ speech after winning ‘Vogue Opinion Maker of the Year’ award earlier in the year once again gave quotable quotes as she made a comment on bras, botox and Karwa Chauth. In her sarcasm-laden speech Twinkle urged Indian women to give fasting for their husbands a thought. She said, “Millions of Indian women fast for their husband’s long life every year on Karva Chauth but I don’t think our 3033 gods are listening. Because when the mortality charts show up, there are 147 countries above us where their men outlive our good old Indian dudes. So ladies stop as it is clearly not working.” This strong logic coming from a modern Indian woman did make sense to many.
In times, when Bollywood has become vociferous about women and woman issues and also when most of it is coming from the women of the fraternity (Alankrita Shrivastava presented Lipstick Under My Burkha, Priyanka Chopra is promoting women empowerment across the globe, Konkona Sensharma took the chair of the director with A Death in the Gunj), Twinkle Khanna is definitely a voice that needs to be heard. With her production PadMan, an adaptation of Twinkle’s own novel on Arunachalam Muruganantham, the inventor of a low-cost sanitary pad making machine in India, slated to release on January 26, 2018, we wish more women take inspiration from her and initiate a conversation on issues that have been buried but needs to be addressed.