Twitterrati were going gaga about the book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna. Print media was all praise about the book. At last I sat down with the book thinking about relishing myself which other readers are enjoying so much.
The first book of Twinkle Khanna, Mrs Funnybone was a complete delight to read. It was a laughing riot. Hilarious and witty at the same time, it was the collection of author’s daily observation in day to day life. But same couldn’t be said about The Legend Of Laxshmi Prasad. It was very unlike from Mrs Funnybones writing style.
The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, which is the first attempt of the author in fiction, is the collection of four short stories, fourth one being the longest. I started reading with the expectation that these stories will be full of wittiness and good sarcasm for which Twinkle Khanna is famous for.
But this time Twinkle Khanna was in a different mood while penning these stories. She seems to be more in reflective mood churning out stories whose character refuse to follow the set path and or accept cliche of the society.
In the first story, a teenage girl Lakshmi whose sister is beaten up and dumped by her in-laws due to insufficient dowry given in marriage refuse to accept the ways of society. Instead she talks to the most learned man of her village stating that it is high time that women have something of their own otherwise she will be treated as burden and slave all her life.
From that time onward birth of every girl is celebrated by planting 10 trees. Money from those trees are used for her education and marriage. Here the author clearly gave the message that economic independence will only lead to social well being of women.
Second story is about Noni Appa an elderly woman, her sister Binni and a elderly yoga teacher Anand. In this story one can see the humorous side of Twinkle Khanna’s writing. She shows the way elderly people should lead their life. Noni Appa is involved in social services while Binni is trying her hands at new hobbies and living her life to the fullest.
Here Noni Appa is the protagonist who breaks the chains of the society which forces elderly to live a lonely life and goes on to find a companion in Anand.
The third story I really failed to understand what the author was trying to say. The only thing which I managed to understand is that the protagonist Elisa’s parents wanted to see her married off even if the groom is mentally disturbed and drug addict. Couldn’t understand head and tail of this story.
The last story which is the highlight story of this book is about a protagonist’s determination and perseverance and sacrifice to manufacture cheap sanitary pads for the welfare of women and young girls.
At first the story might sound funny but it raises a serious issue about menstruation being a taboo in our country which will continue to be so because even women thinks in the same way.
All the stories were written in narrative style in the most simplest manner like a first time cautious author. The author didn’t play with the words which she usually do in her columns. It was a shocker when I started reading the book as it was not what I expected. But as the stories started sinking in, the book became more enjoyable.
Both the story of Lakshmi Prasad and Bablu Kewat talks about the plight of women and how they go through untold sufferings everyday in their life. These stories inspires to bring about a revolutionary change in women’s life.
The jacket and title of the book doesn’t justify the content of the book. A little more creativity was needed in this aspect.
Three of the stories were written with one theme in mind. Breaking the outdated societal norms which brings misery and suffering, to take a leap of faith to inspire change for the betterment of society as a whole and search for true happiness.
The book might not be page turner or entertainer yet when I ponder over the stories I find that there is more substantial feminism in the book than the highly marketed feminist book One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat.