Mrs. Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna is a first-person, fact, and fiction account of a woman – a daughter, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a mother, a homemaker, and an entrepreneur, all in one body. While I don’t know how much of it happened in reality, and how much of it was improvised upon, I am happy for the fact that I got my hands on a good read.
The protagonist of the novel is the author herself (so whether I write author or protagonist, they mean the same) her family comprising of – the man of the house, the prodigal son and the baby, her ever so “antique” mother, her lovable yet hateful mother-in-law, her German shepherds and yes, her very own hand-me-down desi Jeeves. There is no story as such, but a compilation of incidences from the protagonist’s life which forms the entire plot – serious and hilarious, churned into one and served on a platter of laughter. The author’s sense of humor, her ability to look into the brighter side of things, her patience, and the belief that a family stays together despite their differences, is beautifully portrayed. Giving goals to hundreds of She’s – “Just like you and a lot like me”, this protagonist has forayed straight into her fans’ hearts.
Though this is the author’s debut novel, I happened to read it after I read her second one (the review for which you can read under the corresponding title) and boy, it is a masterpiece! Written in a diary-style, providing anecdotes of the author’s life, the division of the chapters is literally done alphabetically, giving the readers an A to Z window into the life of the protagonist. The more I delved into the book, the more I realized how very similar these celebrities are to us (considering that all of what is written in the book is not fictionalized) – a husband who works and works and is found only at the times when you need to be left alone, or making plans suddenly that takes the complete household off tracks; a son who starts taking on his father from a young age, an outlook towards women and yes, falling in love; a baby who seems to have born with karate limbs, and will definitely do what she shouldn’t at the wrong time; a mother who tries to involve herself too much into your home – decorating it with various eccentric and antique pieces is her pass time; a mother-in-law who gets upset if there are only 4 dishes on the dinner table, and who feeds her like she is feeding the entire Punjab and never wants her to fit into her pre-baby jeans again; and last, but not the least, a house help, who has been handed down from God knows where, and is the closest sibling of Mr. Bean.
The purpose of this book is simple – Life is what you make of it, if it gives a lemon, gulp a tequila, and suck on it.
Recommended for all those women, who think they could have been better off, had they been someone else, and to those, who think women at home do nothing.