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Mrs Funnybones(11)
Twinkle Khanna

8 p.m.: The man of the house is home and is very grumpy because he feels there isn’t enough food (enough food for whom? An army? Ludhiana? Thirty-eight hungry boy scouts?). Punjabis are very fussy about their food. If there are only four dishes on the table, then they either feel: a) Very humiliated or b) Miss their mother. I am not yet sure which one is worse.

1.30 a.m.: Our son wakes up saying he is feeling very cold and can I turn the AC down. As I am fumbling in my sleep with the remote, the man of the house shouts that our son is burning up.

Temperature quickly checked with the amazing thermometer and it shows 104 degrees. I throw Calpol down his throat, and the man of the house decides to sponge him with cold water.

I keep insisting that he leave it to me as he has an early shoot tomorrow, but he doesn’t stop, tells me to go to sleep, and continues the cold compress.

As my eyes are shutting, I think about the word ‘love’. It is multilayered, convoluted and as imperfect as all human emotions. It is not your heart beating fast when you look at him (I even knew a girl who would throw up each time she saw her beloved) or constantly wanting to be with the other person. Love in any relationship, family or an intimate friendship, is only about putting the other person’s needs ahead of your own, and that, my friend, is just as simple and as complex as you make it.

M: Masked Bandit on the Prowl

Saturday

4 a.m.: I am wide awake and it’s not because of the sonorous snores of the man of the house, but because I am in the midst of a full-blown panic attack. In precisely three hours, I have to magically transform from a middle-aged, vaguely stylish woman, to an ageless goddess.

6.15 a.m.: Standing in front of our hallway mirror, I am practising a few poses, one leg artfully bent, the opposite shoulder up, when the man of the house strides in and decides to share: a) I look like I have dislocated my shoulder; and b) Has anyone ever told me I strongly resemble Tom Cruise? I am not sure at this point if he is trying to say that I look like a short man or just stating that I have major movie-star-like charisma, so I silently let it pass.

10 a.m.: I am ready with make-up and not a hair out of place at the photo shoot for a fashion magazine in a shiny pink dress with massive pearls all around the hem. It’s a stunning outfit, but every time I want to sit, these pearls dig into my bottom. I resolve to remain standing till the next outfit change . . . before these pearls have a chance to follow the famous Star Trek slogan ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’. Yikes!

11 a.m.: My baby is here. I rush to hug her before I go for my next shot where I am leaning on a fairy-tale dwarf, and this particular dwarf is insisting on talking to me in Marathi, which I really can’t understand. I wonder if Snow White had similar communication problems with her bunch of men. 11.45 a.m.: Glittering in an all-gold Pucci dress and boiling in Maharashtra’s scorching sun, I am perched on a carriage. My body, of its own accord, dredges up some rusty skills, and soon I am pouting and preening like this is my daily job.

1.30 p.m.: The next change is a black Cavalli dress with a plunging neckline. As I tug it over my head, I realize there is no way I can wear anything inside.

1.40 p.m.: I am now walking to my next location and the only thing keeping my breasts in place is hope!

2.30 p.m.: The shoot has come to an end and I have finally figured out why 90 per cent of women on the red carpet (and in magazines) pose like a teapot, with their hands on their waist—it makes you look a lot thinner.

As I make a mental note to go everywhere with my hands perched on my midsection, I begin to wonder will I truly look wonderfully lean or will I be giving people the idea that I have a bad stomach ache?

7.15 p.m.: I want to do something simple tonight, and when our son suggests that we go to the cinema with the family, I am more than happy.

8.30 p.m.: I walk out of the house having hurriedly thrown on my blue worn-out kurta; am carrying a bright yellow bag (which clashes terribly but I am too lazy to change it) and not a slick of make-up.

8.45 p.m.: Hmm . . . The kids are eating Bavarian chocolate ice cream, and tired of being deprived, I, too, have one. My niece is eating a chicken burger, so I have one, and the man of the house orders some bhel, so I have some too.

This is almost more food than I have consumed in the last two weeks, but I think sometimes you have to eat till you burst, the same way that you need to laugh till tears roll down your face.

10.30 p.m.: The movie is over and all I want to do is fall on my bed and hope I am able to digest a quarter of what I have eaten. The man of the house walks me to the elevator and then suddenly decides that he would rather run down the five floors. I can’t seem to see the rest of the family, so I take the lift down humming some tuneless song. I walk out to the car only to almost fall down as a dozen flashbulbs go off in my face.

For anyone who has ever thought that these encounters with the paparazzi are pre-planned, kindly use some common sense. We have some sort of vanity as well and allowing yourself to be photographed in a state that you would not want to put up on Facebook, let alone be published in national newspapers, would be rather demented.

10.45 p.m.: I reach home only to find the man of the house perched on the sofa, as he had quickly escaped on his bulldozer bodyguard’s bike, leaving me to face the music. I box him on the head, sulk and go to bed.

Sunday

I had promised our son that I would take him to see Lucy, and being a sci-fi fan myself, I am also excited to watch it, though it means a visit to the cinema again, but I have decided that the press is not going to catch me off guard again. I blow-dry my hair, wear a cute top, and a pair of extremely uncomfortable heels. I reach the theatre with my best smile, and wouldn’t you know it, there is not a camera in sight!

Getting rather fed up of not knowing when to be picture-perfect ready or slouch in my trackpants, I have come up with a great plan.

I print out a 12-inch picture of Mr Modi’s face, make two holes on the side, string it, and voila, I am now prepared to go to the cinema. Each time I go to the movies, I will just pull out my homemade Mr Modi mask and simply put it on.

The pros:

1) I do not have to put any make-up on ever again.

2) I will prove that I am a loyal, patriotic Indian citizen.

3) I may become a nationwide trendsetter.

The cons:

1) Terrorists might get confused thinking I am the prime minister and attempt to assassinate me.

2) The government may think it is a great idea and make wearing these masks mandatory.

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