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Bollywood Bookshelf: The book-loving funnybone

By December 28, 2018No Comments

Source : Hindustan Times – BRUNCH    –   Zuni Chopra

Voracious reader Twinkle Khanna on being the ‘non Kindle’ girl and the one thing she has in common with Bridget Jones!


Twinkle Khanna, a prolific writer, journalist, former actress and producer, has made no secret of her love for the written word. Indeed, as a writer, it’s a passion that has stayed with her all her life. From Barsaat (1995) to Pyjamas Are Forgiving, her journey has been marked by storytelling, a journey she took time to take me through!

Do you remember the first book that shaped your identity?

Twinkle Khanna: I don’t think it was any one book. I’d also say that one’s identity is something that’s constantly changing. We shed each one, just like a snake shedding skin, though our process is not as clearly visible. The most wonderful part about being a reader is, you have so many voices inside your head that you have the luxury of examining your ideas against a backdrop of the best minds in the world.

If your house was on fire and you had to save three books, which three would you choose?

TK: My collection of Alice Munro’s short stories, a book that I put together for my husband with stories and letters from our parents and our children, and also the ones we have written to each other over the years. There are only nine copies in existence so, I would definitely grab one. Also, an old copy of The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand that belonged to my father.

What fictional character do you identify with the most?

TK: Bridget Jones. I also used to write a detailed diary about my weight and what I ate, every single day, for years!

What’s a classic you haven’t read?

TK: I tried reading Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and despite tremendous exertion of will, I could not finish the slim volume.

Name your top three favourite authors.

TK: Isaac Asimov, Deborah Levy, Fredrik Backman, Jhumpa Lahiri, Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. Le Guin… Sorry! Three is not nearly enough.

Who’s your favourite hero of fiction?

TK: Sherlock, Poirot and Hari Seldon. I suppose I like smart, almost sedentary men in fiction though in real life, I have to admit that due to some prehistoric gene ticking away within my brain or because I am hopeless at any sport, I am a sucker for men with great athletic abilities.

What non-fiction book would you recommend?

TK: Unfortunately, I don’t read a lot of non-fiction so I cannot with any authority answer this question.

What book that hasn’t been made into a film would you want to see a film adaptation of?

TK: I wanted to turn A Man called Ove into a film but the publishers informed me that Tom Hanks is already making it. I am looking forward to that one.



Do you judge people on the basis of their book choice? What choice of book would make you either fall in love with or despise someone?

TK: No, I don’t judge people by their book choices. In fact, aside from talking to my sister who also reads a lot, I don’t think I really discuss books at all. I just find a quiet spot and read.

What’s the most underrated book or book series?

TK: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. I happened to see it in a store window while I was travelling and picked it up at a whim. It is a compulsive, immersive read but is still relatively unknown.

What’s your favourite reading spot?

TK: My bed with a plate of soya chaklis in hand. I don’t mind the crumbs, on both printed pages and plain cotton sheets.

Kindle or hard copy?

TK: I’m a hard copy girl for life because I like things that are largely indestructible.

Which fictional character would you like to cosplay as, if you could?

TK: Susan Calvin in Asimov’s Robot series and all I would need as a costume would be my regular clothes.

What’s your favourite book-to-screen adaptation?

TK: The Remains of the Day. I read the book and watched the movie the next day because I could not understand how it would translate. It turned out to be a flawless adaptation.

Which movie of yours would make the best book?

TK: Ah… Now that question should be reversed for me. I think Salaam Noni Appa, which has already been adapted for stage, would make a decent movie.

(The author is a 17-year-old girl from Mumbai who has written the novels The House That Spoke and The Island Of The Day Before. She is a regular contributor to HT Brunch)

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