Her pen is mightier than her acting genes, which explains why Twinkle Khanna is more popular as an author than as a former actress. Her second book, The Legend of Laxmi Prasad, published last year, has won the most popular book award at the Bangalore Lit Fest to be held on 28-29 October. Next week promises to offer a double delight to her fans. Salaam Noni Appa, a story from the book is also going to be staged in Bengaluru on October 27, followed by performances in Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.
The Legend of Laxmi Prasad is a collection of four heartwarming stories that have been lapped up by book lovers in India. Talking about the responses to her book, Twinkle says, "I get to meet my readers from all over the world now, bump into them at different places and get instant reactions. But the most special response comes from my gynecologist, who says that almost 60 per cent of his patients have my book by their bedside, just before delivery! Childbirth feels like a truck going over you, but if my book can offer them some relief, that’s gratifying."
Twinkle’s columns are sharp, incisive, topical and peppered with a generous dose of humour. But the lady who speaks her mind is often caught in controversies, which she explains thus, "When I refute regressive points of view in my writings, I get into a lot of trouble. As far as my books are concerned, I’m given a lot more appreciation than I have expected." Salam Noni Appa, a touching tale of a widow falling in love with a younger married man, is being brought alive on stage by theatre personality, Lilette Dubey. "Out of the blue, Lilette Dubey called me and said she had read my book and was keen on turning it into a play. I thought it was a good idea. I have grown up with tons of appas around me and introduced her to a few to get her characterisations and intonations right. Playwright Adhir Bhat has done the adaptation. But I have not seen any of the rehearsals, so I’m really looking forward to it," she says.
Meanwhile, another story from the same book is being made into a feature film, Padman, produced by Twinkle, starring her husband and directed by Balki. "Balki has written the story and I went to Maheshwari to work on the script with him for a week. He’s extremely competent and it would be foolish for me as a newcomer to put my foot into it. But if the film succeeds, it will be my first successful film," she states.
Twinkle is a multitasking mum of two — 15-year-old Aarav and 5-year-old Nitara. "Both the children are out of the door by 7 am and I grab a cup of coffee and am at my desk within the next half hour. I end up finishing a large portion of my work by the time most people are just about surfacing. I think that is really the secret to my multitasking abilities," shares Twinkle, who calls herself "the quintessential early bird who catches and then dissects all the wriggling worms at the crack of dawn."