Twinkle Khanna: A Novel Approach
Hi!BLITZ|February 2016

Her widely-read newspaper columns and bestselling book Mrs Funnybones have given her a new lease of life, making Twinkle Khanna a force to contend with in the literary world. The book has gone into its ninth reprint while she gears up for her second release, a collection of short stories that centre around bruised women. Armed with much wit and candour, in a freewheeling chat with Farhad J Dadyburjor she talks about dealing with the sudden success she’s found in her forties, how she’s a lot like her dad Rajesh Khanna and the private scrapbook of family letters that will be her literary legacy.

Farhad J Dadyburjor

Ask Twinkle Khanna light-heartedly at the start of this interview whether one should call her the new Chetan Bhagat now that her book has gone into its ninth reprint, and she shoots a glare. “Stop it!... Don’t even!” she deadpans. And that’s really the beauty of chatting with the woman who is self-deprecating of her own starry first name—you get a mix of wit and warmth, with a large dose of madcap humour and unabashed opinion. Much like her book Mrs Funnybones, inspired by her newspaper columns, that’s been the runaway success of the literary world.

She’s honest enough to admit that she’s still digesting all the sudden attention. “To see success suddenly at 40 is slightly unnerving. Because now I’m suddenly in the spotlight and the spotlight for me has always been slightly uncomfortable. So, I have a lot of other things that I enjoy and I’m part of—like I’m part of a save the trees nature group and things like that that give me more fulfilment than going for social dinners. Though it is extremely flattering and a happy feeling, it was not the life I was looking for,” she says. “Look, I’ve been in this business and seen the most successful people and seen success in different ways, so it’s alright for me.”

Yes, for a moment there you almost forget the trappings. Daughter of Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, wife of Akshay Kumar, a former actress herself— Twinkle has seen the shifting sands of success since an early age. “Success is a part and parcel of life. You can’t focus on it! The reason I reached here was because I didn’t have a plan, a strategy, I did what my heart said to do,” she says.

Is there more pressure on her now for her second book, a collection of short stories? “There isn’t. Because if I was going to give into pressure, it would be Mrs Funnybones Part 2 because that is the simplest way. But it’s not. Which means that I’m going to take another risk and I may fall on my face, but how will I know if I don’t,” she questions.

Slated for release later this year, how close to completion is she? “When you’re writing, things take their own turn. I’ve got four short stories written and I’m writing the fifth one and it is not turning out to be short. It is going on and on, it has its own life. So what do you do with that?” she says, eyes echoing bewilderment. “So you write it and when you’re done you’re done.”

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