So I just finished Mrs Funnybones today. Infact, I started it this morning and proudly share that I finished it in less than 24 hours too. Which isn’t as great as it may sound, even though I had a full n busy day at work and only allowed myself to read in the metro to work, at lunch, in the metro home and after a much despised 30 minutes of exercise.
That is because at 235 pages, size 12 font, 1.5 line spacing and very broad margins, it really wasn’t something even the slowest reader would have trouble finishing in a few hours. And that makes Mrs Funnybones a perfect read for a two hour flight for an average reader like me. The book was also just the solution for a prolonged ‘reader’s block’ (yes, that is something I experience from time to time and is a perfectly valid condition) that I had been suffering from for nearly two months! And so for that I must thank Mrs Funnybones herself.
As I read this book, which is really a blip of an insight into Twinkle Khanna’s charmed life, I can’t help but have a few contradictory thoughts on how I feel about her writing. While every review I read is appreciating her self deprecating nature and her manner of presenting everything in a sarcastically light hearted way, there were several instances that made me feel that she was being quite condescending towards common folk. Maybe elitist would be the right word here. For instance she talks about an expo /trade fair that she participates in, where some other participants come and introduce themselves in bad English, and how she decides to wrap things up and get home ASAP before she needs to admit herself to a mental asylum. That just wasn’t a section of writing that agreed with me. But then maybe that’s the honesty everyone is talking about?
While I’m not trying to diss the book in anyway, I’m not sure what I really liked about it. Ofcourse, there was the surmounting curiosity about not only getting a peek into a star wife’s life but also about how she puts it across in the witty n funny ways that I was reading about everywhere. Twinkle Khanna is definitely a smart, witty, intelligent and very well read person. The book shows that and anyone who reads her columns would see that too. But there isn’t a lot of depth to remember the book by, and maybe because my world is so different from hers, as would be of most people who read it, I don’t find that connect that makes me go, oh yes!
So it got me thinking, had this book been written by a not so famous person would it still be so well received? I think maybe not, because it is that very reason that makes the idea of the book so interesting. Some of the jokes were not so original, you can predict ends of sentences; and the repeated use of the word ‘blimey’ didn’t lend to the funniness either, though I do understand how she meant to use it at the end of every little mishap that happened on her day.
In essence what I liked was maybe her approach to life, where an irritating situation had something funny to it too. I came away with a picture of a privileged life, bustling with activity, the perks of being a star wife of a very successful actor, loads of travel and the added but natural responsibilities of raising children – which all together built this comfortable alluring world that does look ideal when there is humor and a daft joke thrown in now n then. And therefore, when Vogue calls it ‘fashionable’, I totally understand why.