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Beyond the arc lights

KARACHI: If you want to enjoy your Saturday evening at home without having to go out to enjoy the sights, sounds and flavours of your city,Mrs Funnybones is just the right book you have landed on your sofa with.

The book is a personal account of the everyday life of an Indian woman, who looks after her business, manages her household and, at the same time, tries to keep herself fit and healthy. She also has to reckon with her childen who belong to different age groups and temperaments.

Since Mrs Funnybones is written by Twinkle Khanna — who is mostly known for her affiliation with the Indian film world — one might expect it to be full of anecdotes about film shoots, movie premieres and star-studded parties. But Khanna’s book looks beyond the veneer of Bollywood and finds laughter in the most mundane of matters.

Telling tales in translaton

She talks about how she deals with her sleep-deprived assistant at work and her mother’s shrewd but well-meaning advice. Khanna’s lens focuses on the lighter and mostly comical moments of her relationship with her husband and two children.

Set in an Indian suburb, Juhu, the book draws heavily from Indian culture to propel the narrative forward. Mrs Funnybones is given its identity by its plot and the elements that are most common to the place it is set in.

Khanna’s light-hearted observations of Karva Chauth captivate the reader and are instantly relatable for many Hindu women who are married.

The soldier whose sword is a pen

Karva Chauth is a fast that women keep for their husband’s longevity. It is usually celebrated amid fanfare and hardly any Bollywood movie that depicts the festival is devoid of singing and dancing, with women wearing flashy saris, ghararas or shalwar kameez. Most films and literature that mention Karva Chauth are played up in a needlessly sentimental manner. However, Karva Chauth for Khanna, as explained in her book, is not solely an emotional affair. How she explains it leaves one laughing at the feelings of someone who is caught up reluctantly in a cultural celebration. Later, Khanna refers to a rakhi with a bare-chested picture of Salman Khan which has a similar effect.

The book offers a delightful peek into the life of a woman who was once a popular actress. The reader will be pleased to know just how familiar yet fascinating Khanna’s life really is.

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