Lounge loves: Mrs Funnybones
Not celluloid, Twinkle Khanna tells her story much better in words
7.30pm: My eyes are bleary from staring at the computer all day, my neck is aching from the bad posture and I feel a fever coming on. I retire to the red futon and reach for the package the Amazon guy dropped off earlier in the day, of Twinkle Khanna’s book Mrs Funnybones.
7.32pm: I read the contents, which must be a first. It uses a familiar journalistic trope: 26 essays for the 26 letters of the English alphabet.
7.33pm: I even read the foreword, definitely a first.
8pm: I’ve read straight through to “H” (Hurricanes Hit My Household) when the bell rings and the man of the house walks in.
8.01pm: I just realize what I’ve thought. Yikes.
8.02pm: I just realize what I’ve thought again. Time for a break, maybe.
9pm: Dinner cooked and consumed, we’re watching Friends reruns. Instead of compulsively reaching for the phone to check Twitter, I’m eyeing the bookmark sticking out rather invitingly between “H” and “I”.
9.23pm: “I think I’ll call it a night, maybe I’ll feel better in the morning,” I mumble.
9.40pm: Wash, brush and inside the covers in record time, and right into “I” (I Refuse To Celebrate This Bloody Valentine’s Day Nonsense). I’m used to the humour now, so it’s more like I’m chuckling inside instead of laughing out loud, as in the earlier chapters. But wait. Is this a celebrity writing about periods? And, what’s more, she’s writing “period”. And “sanitary napkin”. And she’s admitting to getting them herself.
This is epic.
9.48pm: But onwards to June and zip-lining on an aerial obstacle course. And bam, some of the simplest, yet most profound parenting advice: “I don’t say a word (to her son exhorting her to catch up with him on the above-mentioned obstacle course) because children are always learning from us. They don’t pay attention to most of the stuff we say, but are always watching what we do.”
10.17pm: I’ve raced through K, L, M, N, O because I read these essays when they were first published. I look at the cover again. No, it doesn’t say “Collected Columns” anywhere.
10.20pm: I pull up short at “P” (Please Don’t Let Go). And again, it comes from nowhere, a subtle observation with a sledgehammer impact. “(My son) is standing on the sand, right at the edge of the ocean, flying a blue kite.... All I want to say to him is that soon he will see that life is just like flying a kite. Sometimes you have to leave it loose, sometimes you have to hold on tight... The wind will change in your favour once again, my son. Just don’t let go.”
11.05pm: The book is now on my bedside table, read from cover to cover, yet I still can’t sleep. Like most of us, I’ve watched Twinkle Khanna from afar, first as a celeb daughter, then fleetingly as a star. I noted her fashion sense (slim jeans and statement accessories, yay) and then her wit on Twitter. And now this book. I don’t know about you, but now I know she’s a lot like me.
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