When Twinkle Khanna came up with her first book Mrs Funnybones she became the voice of every mother, daughter, wife and every other role that an Indian woman plays in her life. Her skillful infusion of humor and sarcasm into deep rooted issues that encompass our generation was a lease of fresh air for every reader. So yes, when her second book was announced, I right away pre-ordered the book as I was particularly interested in discovering how ‘Tina’ has adorned the role of a fiction writer from her current I-have-this-opinion-on-this-issue style of writing. I have been able to read the book only 10 months after just reflects that I am a real busy mom!
The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna is an ensemble of four short stories. I wish I could say that the four stories bring to you variant aspects of lives of women from different walks of life. Though three of the four stories do exactly that, the fourth story is a definite deviation from the theme that the book begins with. This story of a man’s struggle to make a low cost sanitary napkin for the women in his socio-economic surrounding is a fictionalized version of the life of Arunachalam Muruganathan, who credited with making the low cost sanitary napkin making machine.
Mrs Funnybones does an excellent job of telling the story of a young girl and her pursuit to seek financial independence for every girl born in her village and beyond. The author then brings to you the story of two sisters in their golden age who are each other’s support system and remain committed to living a rewarding life. The third story takes you on a young lady’s journey through her multiple marriages before she realizes that she has been designed to fly alone and not in a flock, because there just isn’t another bird in the world with a similar feather as hers.
Now, coming to the fourth story, Mrs Funnybones missed the point of telling a story that would carry on the legacy that she started with Lakshmi Prasad. Instead, she goes on to re-tell the story of struggles of a man who set out to find a low cost solution to sanitary napkins so that her wife could have comfort and hygiene. I say re-telling because this story is clearly inspired from the life of Mr. Muruganathan who as a social entrepreneur is credited with the invention of a low cost “PAD” making machine.
So clearly is Mrs Funnybones biased towards this story or must I say inspired by this story that its volume amounts equivalent to the volume of the three stories combined. Not just that! She has decided to make her producer debut with a movie based on the same story. For your knowledge, this movie is called “PADMAN” and is likely to release sometime next year.
The author’s language is simple yet tasteful that makes for an easy read for busy minds seeking relaxation and unwinding. Her appropriate reference of surroundings of her protagonists’ environment leads one to relate to them almost instantaneously. There’s something for everyone in this pot-pouri of stories that can be passed off as somewhat feminist in nature.
Even though I liked and also appreciate the story of “PADMAN”, I would have preferred to read a couple of more stories that were in line with the starting theme of the book. Mrs Funnybones’ biggest strength is that she is stupendo-fantabulously observant and receptive of happenings around her. She has a knack for picking up stuff from the madness around and giving it a satiric twist. If you do not understand what it means, please read her weekly columns for TOI, where she writes as “Mrs. Funnybones”. I really do expect a lot from whatever she does, and hope that her third book (due for release this November) will be a better representation of her Talents as a thought leader and a story teller.
For the content – 3/5
For the writing style – 4.5/5
My husband did not wish to watch ‘TOILET – Ek Prem Katha’ for he was not comfortable sitting through the toilet vocabulary of the movie. I was aghast. I said “Yehi soch toh badalni hai”. Then inspired from the last story in the book I asked my dear hubby, “Have you ever held a sanitary napkin in your hands?”. He was like, “Why? Why would I ever need to?”. In my mind I responded, “Just to know and understand, how it exactly feels.” And then I wondered, how would people respond to a movie based on the “PADMAN” (‘s) life. It is sure to have the “PAD” word innumerous times and some illustrious scenes that may make one shift in their seats. I have decided though that I am going to brave through this experience and make my husband do so too. What about you?
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