Former not-so-successful actor, daughter of yesteryear stars Dimple Kapadia and Rajesh Khanna, and wife of box office magician Akshay Kumar were descriptions attributed to Twinkle Khanna before she found her niche in her Mrs Funny Bones avatar. Much appreciated for her witty columns infused with a healthy dose of devil-may-care attitude, Twinkle is also the author of The legend of Lakshmi Prasad.
Twinkle recently managed to offend Salman Khan fans through her column with her parody matrimonial classified ad for Bollywood’s bhai, who continues to be an eligible bachelor at 50 plus. Her creative advert is as follows:
Alliance wanted for one of India’s oldest but most eligible bachelors: dashing, non-vegetarian, successful, and muscular Khandani boy. Excellent in dance, drama, and art. Girl must be pretty, slim, and enjoy long drives off the beaten path. Bride must not be very talkative, as groom cannot tolerate any buck buck. Caste no bar. Contact Sultan@Bhaijaan.com.
Trolls who claim to be Salman’s fans were quick to pounce on her and threaten to boycott her husband’s movies. Twinkle refused to back off and responded with her trademark wit and alacrity, as seen below.
Santa For Hire: Chubby cheeks, thick white beard, fine stomach, and even finer chest at 56 inches to fill out the suit nicely. Very agile as demonstrated on National Yoga Day on television channels across India, so sliding down chimneys is not a problem. Loves to travel — no reindeers but can throw in some cows. All payments through Paytm only. E: Mitron@DesiSanta.com
Opportunity at a News Channel: Six dumb people wanted for panel discussions. Must sit still while anchor rants and raves. Participants should be able to time closing their mouths before a word can escape out or a mosquito fly in just as anchor shrieks, ‘The nation wants to know’. Job hazards include deafness, mental disabilities, and high blood pressure. Need to report to work on the January 26, Republic Day. Email: Cutouts@LoudestPatriot.com.
Bride Wanted for Handsome Bachelor: An incredible mind that has led him to spouting insightful mathematical equations at large public gatherings. Notable statements include, ‘10 out of 7 youths in Punjab are on drugs’, ‘India is bigger than Europe and the United States put together’ and ‘Dalit community needs the escape velocity of Jupiter’. Bride must be highly educated with advanced degrees in mathematics, physics, geography, and political science. She should also be willing to jab her elbow discreetly into the handsome, dimpled groom’s ribs happily ever after. Email: Bachelor@MammaMia.com.
The below are excerpts on a variety of topics tackled in Twinkle’s witty, shocking but often thought-provoking style.
“I am just going through my Twitter notifications when I spot a gentleman, apparently so uncomfortable with the fact that I still go by my maiden surname that he desperately tweets multiple times, ‘You are Kumar not Khanna, got it?’ I type back, ‘#MarriedNotBranded’ Marriage is not a hostile takeover where a larger company buys out the small one, and the latter must alter its logo to its new master’s. Changing your name is, and should be a choice.”
“My mother-in-law has sent me a big basket of fruits and sweets which I must eat before sunrise so that I can starve the entire day, thereby triggering a mystical spell (known only to Indians and NRI fans of Karan Johar movies) that will enable her beloved son to live a long life. When I further point out that the pet tortoise in our garden is definitely going to outlive all of us and I don’t see anyone fasting for him, I get a withering look from her and a sharp nudge in the ribs from the man of the house.”
“Dressed in our finery, we gather on a friend’s terrace to look for the moon. As banal as I find most rituals, I am still swept away by the moment. A dark night, five good friends, sparkling with our bindis, zardozi, and red outfits. We are giggling and taking pictures. Suddenly, someone spots the hazy orange outline of the moon, and we are now dragging out our men, laughing as we borrow things from each other’s plates.”
“My grandmother is 77. She has perfectly coloured hair with not a root in sight, her nails artfully manicured and her clothes always immaculate. I tease her about her interest in all these superficial things and she exclaims that I, in my dal-stained jeans, have always been a total disgrace to the family. Every Friday, she goes to do her prayers in the prettiest cotton saris with a string of pearls around her neck. What is so extraordinary about her story, you may wonder? She is a woman who has seen three out of her four children die before her very eyes. Sometimes I think the tiny joy she gets from her little indulgences is what keeps her going and distracts her from the anguish she must have gone through seeing what she has.”
“I go to visit a family friend in the hospital. She has been dealing with cancer for a while now and though she is lucky to have tremendous family support, only she knows what it is like to deal with fear and pain on a daily basis. She is sitting on her hospital bed in her pajamas, with a turban jauntily perched on her head. And on her lips, she is wearing the brightest, happiest red lipstick. When I ask her about it, she says that whenever she feels low and run down, she puts on her lipstick and it just cheers her up tremendously."
When my family friend puts on her red lipstick, she is telling the world that she still has hope. Sometimes, the only thing you have left is hope. Hope that every tomorrow hurts a little less than yesterday.