Let me start with a confession. I never thought Twinkle Khanna could write anything sensible (After all, we know her as an bollywood actress who has been featured in movies like Baadshah or Joru ka Ghulam). I even read her columns with a slight prejudice. But I was somehow attracted to this one (and for once, wanted to see what a Bollywood actress could offer in terms of fiction) Also, the fact that her columns and maiden book (Mrs Funnybones) have garnered some rave reviews added to my resolve to pick up Mrs Khanna’s first attempt at fiction- The Legend of Lakhsmi Prasad. And though the similar writing style made the book sound as an extrapolation of her columns, I can’t say I was disappointed with it.
TLLP (The legend of Lakhsmi Prasad) is a compilation of short stories- well, 3 of them are actually short and the forth one occupies a larger part of the book. The opening plot has a young girl Lakshmi who stands up against the tide and transforms the village in her own small way. The second story has adorable Noni appa and Anandji who reinstate your faith in pure unadulterated love which does not calculate debits and credits. Elisa, in the third story, wants to live her life on her own terms but faces challenges from all sides. The fourth story is generously inspired and adapted from the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the renowned social entrepreneur who faced all odds to invent a low-cost sanitary napkin for womenfolk. Largest part of the book is dedicated to this story and almost everything, barring the names, is picked from his life. So if you have read about Arunachalam, there would be no surprises in the last story and you end up reading the book only because you don’t want to leave it unfinished.
As a first attempt at fiction, the book does a good job. But it’s difficult to predict whether the author will offer anything more serious or profound in her future works. After reading the book, I realised that I enjoyed her columns more (or slightly equally) than her book. The author’s work is entertaining when taken in small doses. At slightly less than 300 pages, it can actually be devoured in one go. I don’t think you would be missing anything phenomenal if you don’t read this one, but if you pick it up it would be difficult to abandon it. It can easily be rated 3 but I want to add half a star more for the characters Noni appa and Anand ji.
Buy your copy now