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Book Excerpt: Twinkle Khanna's Mrs Funnybones

19/08/2015 8:00 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Mrs Funnybones_Penguin Books India

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Full of wit and delicious observations, Mrs Funnybones captures the life of the modern Indian woman--a woman who organizes dinner each evening but goes to work all day, who runs her own life but has to listen to her mummyji, who worries about her weight and the state of the country. Based on her super-hit columns, Mrs Funnybones marks the debut of one of our funniest, most original writers.

The following is excerpted from 'Mrs Funnybones'.

E: EUREKA! MOM, I CAN MAKE ANYONE PREGNANT NOW!

8.15 a.m.: The man of the house is leaving for a shoot to Pune and he appoints the prodigal son as 'safety officer' in charge of looking after the baby and me.

1.30 p.m.: We are all watching the news together when we see our wonderful Parliament erupt in chaos and violence, with our beloved MPs taking out pen knives and pepper sprays.

1.45 p.m.: The prodigal son has been watching this very keenly and has now decided to take his position as 'safety officer' very seriously, and inspired by what we have just seen on screen, goes off looking for an old Swiss knife which was tucked away in the cupboard.

2 p.m.: The benefits of the Swiss knife have been discussed in depth and he has shown me detailed demonstrations of how it has scissors, a nail file, a saw, a knife and a bottle opener.

2.30 p.m.: The much-abused daybed in our house has suffered a minor mishap when the scissors from the Swiss knife got stuck in it, thereby not just tearing the fabric but also ripping the stuffing.

4 p.m.: The staff have come to complain that the great Swiss knife experiment is leading to mounting deaths and injuries among household items:

  1. Mosquito net ripped.
  2. Daybed damaged as mentioned above.
  3. Olive oil bottle broken.
  4. Dog's hair trimmed only near the right ear.
  5. Our son's hair trimmed only near his left ear.
  6. The baby's favourite doll fatally stabbed.

Not to forget our watchman who has been threatened with the 'saw' component of the magnificent Swiss implement to ensure that he does not let unknown visitors into our house.

I am dismayed and give him a piece of my mind by yelling, 'There is no difference between you and the members of the Indian Parliament, all that's left for you to do is to take a can of pepper spray and violently spray it on our neighbour's face!' Oops...

4.15 p.m.: Our son has now googled the above- mentioned incident on YouTube and after again seeing how effective the pepper spray is when used by a particular MP, has decided to make his own version:

INGREDIENTS

1 empty spray bottle

500 ml of water

4 tablespoons of lemon juice

14 spoons of red chilli powder

8 spoons of salt

4.50 p.m.: I have now confiscated all potential weapons from his arsenal.

5 p.m.: I am frantically begging the man of the house to talk to his son and put some sense in his head, but the man of the house firmly denies any responsibility in this particular fiasco and instead points out that if the highest citizens in our country can contribute to violence in the Parliament, then how can our son be blamed for the violence in our house.

After seeing the validity of his point and realizing that in order to join the Parliament, you don't need to be a graduate or have any particular qualifications barring eligible age, I have decided that in exactly fourteen years our son can become an MP but perhaps he has to practise a few more parliamentary actions like yelling incoherently, breaking tables, snatching papers and smashing mikes, to really fit in.

Meanwhile, I need to practise removing stains from furniture, as that seems to be my primary occupation at home. I scrub away, thinking of ways to remove the prodigal son from his position as baby Ganpati standing outside his mom's house, because if something happens to him, I don't think I can find an elephant head in time to make him my little Ganesha. Parvati had divine powers to join the head with her son's body whereas I will have to plonk an orange pumpkin on top of his torso and try my luck with spit and good old Fevicol.

5.30 p.m.: I hit upon a solution to my Ganpati problem by dragging the prodigal son into the house and forcing him to do some more homework.

7 p.m.: I am working on a few yoga poses and have finally managed to hoist my body into some version of a headstand when the prodigal son returns and loftily announces, 'Mom, I can make anyone pregnant now!' I violently choke, lose my balance and tumble onto the carpet.

At a loss for words for the first time in fifteen years, I feebly mutter, 'Uh, I don't think, er... you should do such things; it's not the right uhm... time and uh... the girl and you uh...'

'Yuck, that's gross, Mom!' he shrieks. 'You always think of such dirty things! I don't even talk to girls though you keep insisting that soon I will be running after them. I didn't mean it like that! Eww! I was doing some research for a school project and the youngest boy who has made anyone pregnant is eleven! The Internet says it's a world record, that's all. Dad is right! You say gross things all the time!' And the prodigal son storms off. Yikes!

Neighbours

Taking rounds of the building garden in my perpetual 'lose the last 5 pounds' mission, I see my elderly neighbour sitting on the grass and looking up at our building. He is not blinking, and drool is running out of his mouth. Worried that he may have suffered an epileptic fit, I run towards him, only to discover that he is staring at the silhouette of an undressed neighbour who has forgotten to draw her curtains. I decide to immediately warn my neighbour. I whip out my phone and, to my horror, she starts coming even closer to the window and now can be seen clearly, stark naked, and when she picks up the phone, I discover that this is partly my fault as her phone was lying on the window ledge and she has been fully exposed as she was trying to get to her phone, which has been ringing incessantly, due to 'Good Samaritan' me. Yikes!

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