Actor-turned-designer-turned writer Twinkle Khanna has received a lot of attention for her recent column about the controversial All India Bakchod Knockout roast and its chaotic aftermath.
Her latest column in Times of India — where she writes under the pseudonym MrsFunnyBones — expresses her concern that the country needs to save its strength to protest against things that really matter instead of a bunch of wisecracks. Titled Why some of us choose to face the cave wall, Khanna states that nothing appears to have changed since the Paleolithic age where "after hearing the first few words of communicable language, two people immediately turned their backs and sat facing the cave wall because they were offended."
While she wishes that AIB had made "astute, layered gags", Khanna points other matters that require urgent attention over the AIB roast: “Gangs of men still killing and raping women as they did again in Rohtak; that we spend $38.35 billion on warfare but are slashing our health care budget by 20% despite being a country whose public spending on health is already among the lowest in the world; that a bunch of us have been called ‘haramzade’ on a political platform from a member of the party that governs us and not from a standup comedian but no FIR is filed against the politician but is filed against the AIB comedians instead.”
Khanna has received a lot of support from Bollywood for her last post, including husband Akshay Kumar, and actresses Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma.
Alleged lovers Sonakshi Sinha and Arjun Kapoor who faced their own fair share of heat from the roast have also welcomed her response and tweeted about it, thanking her.
Known for her blunt words and satirical wit on Twitter, Khanna's previous columns under the Times Of India moniker have also become a popular read where she addresses pressing matters that require attention in a lighthearted, breezy manner without coming off as a preachy martyr. Here are a few times when she has hit the nail on the hypocritical head.
In her post A souvenir called happiness, Khanna talks about her encounter with a poor African boy whose only toy gets broken by some children, and how he deals with the situation instead of simply crying about it. Her final reminder to her readers is that happiness is not elusive if it is embraced as a lifestyle. "We try to chase happiness by buying things — cars, homes, friendships, gadgets — but a five-year-old boy who never stops smiling taught me that happiness is not a pursuit or a purchase, it’s simply a way of being.”
From African boys, Khanna moves on to the diminishing Parsi community. After exploring their eccentricities, she declares that they are a rich addition to India's melting pot of culture with their innate honesty and charm. She adds her own "selfish" but completely warranted list of reasons for wanting them to thrive: “It is very important to have three Parsis in your life. Your doctor, your jeweller and your lawyer since most Parsis are generally honest and conscientious by nature. And having them in your life can lead to a whole bunch of laughs because they are also notoriously eccentric.”
Khanna, in an endearing dig at her husband Akshay Kumar often refers to him as "the man of the house", and recently volunteered him for guard duty to hit out at locals not respecting Narendra Modi's (or "NaMo" as she calls him) Swachh Bharat programme. Khanna portrays the situation in a light manner, especially with her message to Modi: “Dear Mr. Modi, along with brooms and celebrities posing for photo-ops, perhaps it would also be effective having burly men standing on crossroads with clubs and cricket bats, holding a sign that says, ‘You throw junk, I hit you on your trunk.’" But at the same time, she manages to highlight the pleasure of living in a country that "is no longer treated like a commode."
Finally, Khanna's respect for Modi as a nouveau fashionista is also obvious when she rises to his defence in Scribbles on a monogram: "On close inspection, it was not stripes after all but a radical interpretation of wearing a nametag. Milord, in defense of our beloved Mr Modi, I would like to say that if people can carry bags with LV and GG written on them then why must our Prime Minister be lampooned for proudly flaunting his own name? Marketing mavericks please take note; this is how a product should be branded for immediate recognition."