Was Twinkle Khanna so busy being brilliantly satirical that that she didn’t have the time to think her nom de guerre through?’m not quite getting the logic behind this whole Mrs Funnybones business.
Some brilliant publishing professional who is avoiding me right now – and is on FB or Twitter as we speak, saving the world with a camera-phone and her beauty – could probably enlighten me. But till then here’s my limited-intellect take.
As far as I know we have only one funny bone, right?
You have one in each elbow, you moron! (I have learnt to pick up the thoughts of my publishing friends from ether.)
Okay, then. It’s that spot on the elbow, when hit, you break into such uncontrollable laughter that you soil your pants, right? Good name for a humour writer! Problem solved.
Just a sec.
Wiki tells me it’s actually the opposite. It’s that part of your elbow where the ulnar nerve is situated which, when hit, makes you feel a tingling, shock-like pain that you want gone immediately.
Oh, so the “funny” here refers to “weird” as opposed to “humorous”. And they were wordplaying with “humerus”, the bone, all along, I see.
In that case, if this writer sees herself as witty, is it the right name?
She’s a brilliant satirist, you loser! (that voice again) She wants to make you feel all unpleasant, tingly and weird with her biting commentary on life and its foibles.
Well then, for that, you’d have to be funny, right? Funny first. Biting next. And truthful, first, middle and last. And – have I forgotten to mention – funny? That’s how satire works. Hmmm, do you see much of any of it?
Obviously, you don’t. That’s because you’re jealous.
Okay, let’s presume you’re right, Publishing Voice in my head. Why the prefix of Mrs?
Does it mean her husband is the funny one, the brilliant biting satirist, and she’s just his missus? And all I have to do is review the oeuvre of such auteurs as Sajid Khan, Priyadarshan and Sirish Kunder if I have any doubts? And the biting satire of Akshay Kumar – being slapped by monkeys or smelling doggie butts – is there for all to see? Okay, I get it now.
On the other hand, heaven forbid, could she be inadvertently admitting he is weirdly painful?
For a minute, let’s say I’m right. Then, in essence, Twinkle Khanna’s writer name, her USP so to speak, highlights her wifehood to a person who reminds you of the ulnar region of your elbows that make you feel unpleasantly tingly when hit.
F@#$ off, you literal-minded fool! (that voice again).
Was Twinkle Khanna so busy being brilliantly satirical that that she didn’t have the time to think her nom de guerre through?
Here’s the thing. Putting “funny” in your name doesn’t automatically make your readers rolling in the aisles. It’s the literary equivalent of having Navjot Sidhu precede your gag with his hand twirl and demented cackle to announce its hilarity. Or a background score of a hundred violins in a TV soap to tell you, look, look, it’s all so bathetic, sob!
What next? A literary fiction writer called Smt Profound-Tragedienne or Lord Lyrically Redemptive?
Her name, her column, her book, they’re working, no? Unlike yours. So why don’t you shut up?
They’re working because she is Twinkle Khanna. Daughter of Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia. Wife of Akshay Kumar. With the who’s-bonked-who of Bollywood holding their stomachs in fake laughter to help her along. Ordinary folk are amazed she can spell. (Like they’re amazed by a certain Mrs Superstar’s intelligence. C’mon, yaar, she’s a star-wife who wears spectacles! How brilliant is that, right?) Twinkle Khanna’s book would have worked if it was her school essays and her pseudonym had been Kumari Ho Ho ROFL. That is the power of films in this country, my publishing friend. For instance, if he so wished, Salman Khan could sell horse manure as a protein supplement.
When did names and titles, as opposed to being well-thought-out representatives of content, become advertisements of intent?
There’s this big bestselling author who’s put the word “bestseller” in the title of his forthcoming magnum opus. Logic, dude! A book with the word “bestseller” on it has to be one. The thatasthu devatas flying about deem it so, my grandma used to say.
I’m thinking maybe I’ve got it all wrong all these years. Maybe I could write an erotic thriller and title it Playing with Private Parts in Public Places. Gosh, that’s so titillating, right?
Or a literary novel called The Achingly Lyrical Love Epic involving Mental Illness During the Indo-Pak War of ’65.
Why limit myself? Why don’t I just write a book that covers everything and be done with it? Leave nothing to chance. Beat this, my publishing friends, for a title: The Award-Winning Bestseller That Got a Five Crore Advance, taught my Editor an important life lesson, garnered Brilliant Reviews for itself while gathering Nubile Groupies for the Writer and ultimately Saved the World by Destroying All IIM/IIT Writers.
Krishna Shastri Devulapalli is the author of two novels, Ice Boys in Bell-Bottoms and Jump Cut, and a play, Dear Anita. He is considering changing his name to J.K. Arundhati Tripathi Bhagat.