BOOKSHELF M2 THE MAGAZINE
India Abroad September 25, 2015
winkle Khanna has
just got a new identity. The actress, who
made her acting debut with the cringe-worthy Barsaat in
1995, and went on to act in even
more cringe-worthy movies, is
now better known for her fascinating talent with words.
Her columns in India’s DNA
newspaper are elegantly witty, as
she takes on current topics and
gives them her spin. So, a column
on the Maggi ban had her writing
about a certain gentlemen, who
was a two-minute noodle in the
“My frankness has got me into a
lot of trouble,” Twinkle laughs. “I
try to temper it down now. As you
get older, you get wiser. Earlier, I
used to say things foolishly. Once,
I went to a film premiere, and the
producer asked me if I liked it. I
said it’s crap. But I don’t say that
anymore. Now I say I have to
think about it. If you ever hear me
say that, you know the answer!”
“There was another time when I
went to this party and met this
legendary movie star. I was trying
to pay her a compliment, so I said:
‘You look so young, how do you do
it? Do you sleep with your head
hanging out off your bed?’ She gave me such a look! And I
was trying to be nice!”
Yes, there is a lot of wit in that girl.
Twinkle’s newly released book, Mrs Funnybones, peeks
into her life and shows us a woman, who’s Just Like You And
A Lot Like Me. Or that’s what the tagline says.
But is she really just like me?
“I’m just a normal girl,” Twinkle replies. “People have these
preconceived notions about what movie stars are about, and
how we’ve grown up. My mother is pretty regular and raised
us just like anyone else. I went to boarding school (the New
Era High School, Panchgani), where you’re treated as no one.
There weren’t many Indians there, and I wasn’t treated extra
The ‘normal girl,’ born of superstar parents Rajesh Khanna
and Dimple Kapadia, became a movie star, married one of
Bollywood’s top stars, and currently lives in a gorgeous sea-
facing home, in Mumbai’s home of the stars area,
But Twinkle never liked being a movie star.
“I pretend that I was never in the movies,” she
says, quite seriously. “The only job I had before was
selling prawns door to door. That’s what I tell
myself. My kids have never seen my films. I’m too
embarrassed to show them. I laugh at them. When
they come on television, my husband (the ‘Man of
the House,’ as she describes Akshay Kumar) calls me
over for a laugh, but I just switch off the TV and run
out of the room.”
Twinkle is not proud of the brilliant cult-worthy
Badshah either, co-starring Shah Rukh Khan.
“I’ve never seen the whole film,” she claims. “I
cringe at my films! I cover my head under a blan-
ket! People have certain skills and I think acting
was not one of mine. That’s not what I set out to do
in life anyway.”
Twinkle, apparently, wanted to become a
Chartered Accountant. “My mother and account-
ant also felt that way,” she reasons.
After finishing her Class 12, she gave her CA
entrance exam. But she joined the movies within six
months, and couldn’t pursue an accountant’s life.
“I don’t miss acting at all,”
Twinkle adds. “I found the
waiting very boring. You have
to wait for hours because they
have to set up the next shot,
light it up... There were no
phones, mobiles, or I-Pads in
those days. And there were no
women on the sets either!”
Ask her which Akshay Kum-
ar movie she likes, and she’ll
give you a long list — Hera
Pheri, Special 26, Baby, the
second half of Brothers...
“My objectivity towards him
is slanted because I know him
too well as a person. The portions with the kid (in Brothers), that’s exactly how he talks
to our daughter,” Twinkle says.
Which of his movies does
she dislike? “Do I want to continue staying in this house?”
Did Akshay fall in love with
her sense of humor? “I doubt
that very much,” Twinkle laug-
hs. “But I don’t ask him such
But Akshay, clearly, is more
emotional than his wife.
“He cries a lot more than I
do,” she confides. “He even
cried during a film in which
Mrs Funnybones is taken from Twinkle’s life by about 70
percent. “The book is about how the modern Indian woman
lives in this country. She has access to the Internet but is still
tied to traditional things like fasting on Karva Chauth and
tying a black thread around her child’s hand. The book is
uniquely an Indian point of view, what it’s like to be a woman
living in India and deal with the irony.”
She titled it after her Twitter handle, Mrs Funnybones.
“I came to Twitter very late. My husband told me that we
don’t want a morcha outside our house, so kindly refrain. I
thought I’ll go anonymously on Twitter and have fun, so my
handle was Mrs Funnybones. When I decided to finally go
official, my name was already taken. I could either be ‘The
One and Only Twinkle Khanna’ or ‘The Twinkle
Khanna’. So I just stuck with Mrs Funnybones. It fit in
very well with my sense of humor and every single
bone in my body.”
She took a year to write the book.
“My kids go off to school by 7 am. I have the house to
myself for an hour. That’s when I try to write,” she says.
Her mother Dimple is obviously thrilled with her
book. “When I asked my mother if she’d read the book,
she said she was going to the temple to pick it up, as
she had kept the book there. I asked her why she’d kept
the book in the temple! Was God going to read the
book because he had nothing to do? But when she got
it back, she stayed up till 2 am and read the book at one
go. I think in her heart she’s shocked because she
always thinks my sister is better at everything than I
am. She can’t believe that I’ve done this,” Twinkle says.
The book, like her columns, also introduces us to
Twinkle’s elaborate menu from time to time, like avocado appetizers and mango parfaits. Are her daily
meals really that fancy?
“Not at all! I had lunch in office today, in a little plastic dabba. It was salad with chicken. My dinner is one
Bajra Roti, Dal and a sabzi (a vegetable dish),” she says,
adding mischievously, “After all, I’m just like you!” n
‘I pretend I
From actress to author, the
was never in
glamorous Twinkle Khanna tells
Ronjita Kulkarni/India Abroad
who she really is.
Twinkle Khanna says she never liked being a movie star; she is not even proud of the cult-worthy Badshah, co-starring Shah Rukh Khan.