A fan of Bollywood for three quarters of my life, it was a pleasant surprise for me when I found out one of my favourite actresses, Twinkle Khanna had ventured into writing – making waves in her homeland as a newspaper columnist and well-known author.
The Barsaat, Mela and Dil Tera Diwana actress had disappeared under the radar after she married fellow actor Akshay Kumar (for me at least) but after my recent trip to India, I discovered her latest book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad. A collection of four short stories, the book comes after her first book Mrs Funnybones, which managed to enthrall fiction fans all across the colourful country.
Armed with a limited space in my bag, I only had the luxury of choosing a few books to accompany me to my shelf at home, so I decided to go with dependable sounding Lakshmi Prasad, who I felt wouldn’t let me down. And she didn’t!
The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad tells the tale of a young girl who transforms her village with a revolutionary idea. Just as much as I wanted to celebrate her legacy at the end, I wanted to sink my teeth into the next story – Salaam Noni Appa, a 68 year old character who reminds one of the dangers of defining relationships. In If The Weather Permits, the author revolves a story on the trials and tribulations of marriage and its cascading effect of the family.
A longer read then the others, Bablu Kewat is a story based on Arunchalam Muruganathan, a social entrepreneur who embarked on the quest to enhance women’s independence and promote the importance of hygiene for women. He also successfully made the world’s first low-cost sanitary pad making machine. This tale of true grit and determination will soon be on the big screen, with the title of Pad Man.
While each story may differ, the essence of Twinkle Khanna’s message – that women’s needs and issues should be heard and respected, dwells in all of them. For some, the book may be too simple or straightforward, but for me, it was the unique characters that stood out. A breezy read with moments of humour, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad is one for those looking for a light read with meaning.