‘Books have always been a part of my life; it was how we were raised’
She started off as an actor (with Barsaat in 1995) but Twinkle Khanna never got too attracted to the glitzy world of Bollywood. Now, of course, she has changed gear and turned into an accomplished author, with successful books such as Mrs Funnybones and The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad.
“Books have always been a part of my life. And it was also about the way we were raised. My sister (Rinke Khanna) probably reads as much as me. My mother (Dimple Kapadia, actor) is also a voracious reader, so we were raised in that kind of an environment,” says Twinkle, adding that “very few people who write have not been writing their entire lives”.
Sharing that she used to write poems during her teen years, Twinkle says she had “written half a book by the time I was 18-19”. She adds, “In fact, I have a card from an old school friend where she had written something about how my poems and I should get tomatoes thrown at, and people should throw eggs at my face (laughs). It was a birthday card and all of us have such funny friends.”
Although reading was always a big part of her growing up years, Twinkle feels that reading, for actors, was considered “very strange especially since people don’t look at Bollywood that way”.
“But my father (late Rajesh Khanna, a Hindi cinema legend) was a big reader. In fact, when I was collecting all his things (after he passed away), he had Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead (both written by Ayn Rand) on his bedside table in which he had underlined paragraphs and used bookmarks,” she says.
Interestingly, Twinkle calls all of it “a family trait”.
“As children, we don’t really listen to what our parents are saying, but we are surely watching what they are doing and I think we grew up like that,” says the actorwriter, who has turned producer with her husband Akshay Kumar’s latest film,
But isn’t writing a very personal space compared to acting?
“I think writing is something where you can still hide behind words, whereas in acting, you have to have zero defences. Also for someone like me, who was born in this fish bowl, everybody thinks, ‘How can you not like being an actress?’ But if you have grown up eating jalebi from the time you were born, you may want to eat barfi, but nobody thinks of that,” says Twinkle, adding that for her, “there is no comparison” between writing and acting.
Twinkle Khanna says she had written ‘half a book’ by the time she was about 19 years old