Subhash K Jha in conversation with the irrepressible, unstoppable, brutally outspoken and devastatingly beautiful Twinkle Khanna who turns a year younger on December 29
Tell me, what makes you look like a million bucks in spite of all the pressures of domesticity and professionalism?
I don’t know about a million bucks but I suppose I have decent genes and I practice Yoga almost every day, though it is more for my mind than my body. Aside from that, a clean lifestyle is perhaps the only way to look and feel healthy after a certain point in time.
You say you pretend you were never an actress. For the daughter of two brilliant actors, isn’t that an awful way to feel?
Why? Why is it awful? My parents (Rajesh Khanna and Dimpla Kapadia) are gifted actors and I am very proud of their body of work. I don’t feel the same about my work in the movies, how are the two connected?
Tell me about your growth as a writer? You were always fond of reading. When and how did you discover and nurture the writer within yourself?
I wrote half a book when I was 18 and in fact the characters Noni Appa and Binni from my new book, The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad were originally part of that manuscript. This is my third attempt that has finally appeared in print, where the story revolved around the two old ladies and another character Anandji. I also carried around a black felt file as a teenager that contained all the poems that I had jotted down, primarily about maggots and death. I have always been immersed in a world filled with words, earlier as a reader and now finally as both a reader and a writer.
How did the Legend Of Laxmi Prasad come about? Do you feel it says the stories in exactly the way you wanted them told?
I was doing some research on menstruation for a column. I read about Arunachalam Muruganantham’s life and work and his story gripped me and that is when I sat down, wrote the first few pages and sent them off to my editor to have a look. I then began chasing Muruga and after numerous lengthy interviews, he agreed to let me fictionalize his story and that is how this book started. The other stories then followed, they were all topics I had briefly touched upon through my columns and now I could weave a substantial tale around them.
You have been writing a very popular newspaper column?
When I was asked to do a celebrity newspaper column, I instinctively agreed and sat down to write the first one just to see if I could and three years later, here I am.
How do you balance out the various roles in your life, as a daughter, wife, mother and individual?
I tackle one task at a time and I now give myself the luxury of knowing that I will drop a few balls in this constant jugglery. Just yesterday, I forgot that it was a holiday and woke up the kids for school and then had to hear a litany of complaints about how I keep forgetting everything.