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Mrs Funnybones(6)
Twinkle Khanna

Does anyone still wonder why I have been lumped with a name that rhymes with sprinkle and wrinkle?

I am then informed by my mother that her weekly task of torturing me by showing me strange sculptures that she excavates from unknown sources and then tries to place in precarious corners of my house, has unfortunately come to a halt because she has been very busy promoting her new movie. And as I am secretly praying that her promotional activities don’t stop for a few more months, she informs me that I must not get very disheartened as she has spoken to an antique shop dealer who is sending a 7-foot statue of a one-armed woman to my house early next week.

6.30 p.m.: I am walking back into my building and am jostled by yet another elderly aunty walking up the stairs. Wondering about this fitness mania that has suddenly gripped my entire building, I spot the hunky movie star who has finally moved into his third-floor apartment in our building, and it all makes sense.

Holding the baby with one hand, I smile feebly and wave at him, when he walks up to me, punches me hard on the arm, and says, ‘Do you know how many times you have beaten me up when we were kids?’ I have absolutely no recollection of this as I had spent my entire childhood mercilessly beating up various pimpled boys, half of whom grew up to be very famous people.

Promising to send him my yummy dahi tikkis, I enter my foyer and meet the man of the house. When I tell him about bumping into our new neighbour and finding out that apparently I have beaten him up as well, the man of the house just sighs and says, ‘What is new? You beat me up every day too, maybe you should open a new kind of acting school.’

I protest that I really can’t act.

He adds, ‘I know that, but you can claim to be a lucky mascot: A punch from Twinkle will make your stars sparkle!’

I feebly protest that this slogan doesn’t really rhyme.

He shushes me and continues, ‘There will be testimonials from all your former students.

‘Like Farhan Akhtar: “Every time Ms Khanna beat me, I thought Bhaag Farhan Bhaag. That is why I was so good in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. It was sheer practice.”

‘Karan Johar: “I am successful only because of Ms Khanna’s regular thrashings. Every wallop I received, I said Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and that’s how the idea of my first film was born.”

‘Hrithik Roshan: “I became the superhero of Krrish only because of Ms Khanna’s punches. It left a deep scar on my mind and I decided to grow up and fight evil.” And of course me, Akshay Kumar: “I would be nothing without Ms Khanna. I learnt karate, taekwondo and parkour only because of her blessings in the form of slaps and boxes.”’

When I object that everyone knows he was a martial arts expert even before he met me, he snorts, ‘So what? You, anyway, want to take credit for everything, so take credit for this as well.’

I hit him on the head and pull him out to our porch. Feeling calmer after looking at the beautiful sea, I tell him, ‘The sea looks so gorgeous, and say thank you to me—if I had not fought with the builder to lower the boundary wall, we would be looking at only concrete.’

The man of the house shakes his head and just walks off. So weird. Behaving like he has his periods or something; men are so strange sometimes, who can understand them!

G: Good Grief! This Weighing Scale must be Defective

8 a.m.: The holidays have ended, and after a month of indulging in endless desserts, I dust off my weighing scale and gingerly balance myself on it. The number flashes very dramatically in red. I stagger back almost as if I’d been shot by a sniper’s bullet. I pick up the pieces of my shattered vanity and resolve to start yet another diet.

Weight is a tricky thing for me. In primary school I was the fattest girl in my class, and though decades have passed and I may no longer look like the fattest girl in the class, I haven’t forgotten her. Just like a house is sometimes haunted by its previous occupants, I am also occasionally haunted by that little fat girl.

1.30 p.m.: I am meeting some of my close girlfriends for lunch, and invariably before we have even put our handbags down, the topic goes to our weight. One friend is congratulated for losing what seems like 350 grams since we last saw her; I moan about my dreadful extra 5 pounds, another says that she is also again on a diet, while yet another friend chirps in with an entire thirty-minute story about how she lost (wait for this) 1 kilo, and then her aunty died and she was so upset that she ate some ice cream and gained the momentous 1 kilo back (the aunty dying is just mentioned in passing. I still don’t know the aunt’s name or what she died of, but I do know that my friend ate a family pack of chikoo ice cream).

We quickly scan the menu and order dainty salads, and as we are about to finish, we undo all our good work by ordering cream cookies and cupcakes, and after oohing and ahing over the cute little Easter chocolate bunnies, we proceed to bite their heads off as well.

3.30 p.m.: I am back at the office and my jeans are feeling rather uncomfortable, and as much as I would like to blame the baby for this, practically speaking, if your child can walk and talk, then they have lived outside your body long enough for you to go back to your original size.

5 p.m.: I get an email from mommy dearest where she states that she has found a few of my baby pictures, and I look so cute. ‘Like a giant ladoo’ are her exact words.

Hmm . . . Motivation enough for me to leave the office immediately and do some sort of exercise before I become a giant ladoo all over again.

6.15 p.m.: I put my sneakers on and hit the beach for a brisk walk. I am just getting into the stride of things, listening to some great music on my iPod and enjoying the glorious view, when from the corner of my eye I see three young men creep up and, before I know it, they are passing comments, slowing down when I walk slower, quickening their steps when I try to hurry; in short, annoying the hell out of me.

This is a peculiarly Indian habit, see a woman alone anywhere and our men must harass her even if she has a moustache thicker than theirs, is eighty-three years old or has a massive mole on her nose with three strands of hair sprouting through; basically, they will revel in hounding any creature that vaguely has two X chromosomes lurking anywhere inside.

6.25 p.m.: I am now getting rather irritated with these three morons, and decide to harass them back. I make a quick U-turn and we end up face-to-face. My three true idiots also quickly turn around, so now I am following them.

I spot a large, empty coconut, pick it up and decide to throw it at their heads. They see me and start running. I am now running behind them at breakneck speed to throw my organic missile. They are running faster and faster. I am panting heavily and sweat is pouring off me as I try to chase them. Finally, one of them trips. The other two pull him up and drag him away. When I finally catch up with them, I throw the coconut, miss, and am now completely out of breath, with a stitch on my side. I cannot chase them further.

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