Title: The Legend of Laxmi Prasad
Author: Twinkle Khanna
Pages: 233 pages
Plot: A collection of utterly magical stories that will leave you crying, laughing and wholly enchanted.
A gangly young girl transforms her village with a revolutionary idea. Sixty-eight-year-old Noni Appa finds herself drawn to a married man – ‘Why do people have to define relationships, underline each word till the paper gives way beneath,’ she wonders. Bablu Kewat becomes obsessed with sanitary napkins much to his family’s horror, and a young woman keeps checking the weather forecast as she meticulously plans each of her five weddings. Funny, observant and wise, this is storytelling at its most irresistible.
Favorite Quote: “Life is but a play of chance in the game of choice.”
Thoughts: I am a fan of Twinkle Khanna’s quick wits, her sense of humor and her unapologetic views on various issues. She dares to bare her thoughts to the world which is visibly evident in her tweets and columns for TOI. The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad is the second book from the author. I quite enjoyed Mrs Funnybones which was classified from A to Z taking us through various facets of her life.
This book is a collection of four short stories with lead protagonists breaking the ideologies and societal norms and bringing transformation in the society in their own ways. The first three stories have a strong female protagonist and the fourth one is a male character, inspired from the real life, who is working against the tide to help female hygiene and sanitation. Let’s dig in a little more into these characters.
Laxmi- Laxmi had always seen that women were treated as a burden in her village. Birth of a girl child brought a hefty load of dowry. Until the time Laxmi decides to bring a change and comes up with an idea so simple but so meaningful that the birth of a girl becomes a reason to celebrate. I loved Laxmi’s character and the fact that how simple thoughts can change lives of generations to come. I especially loved the note on which the story ended.
Noni Appa- 68 year old Noni Appa is a lonely widow, whose only daughter is settled in London. Her only support system is her younger sister Binni. Noni Appa and Binni both decide to take up yoga classes with Anandji. Noni Appa finds herself drawn to her yoga teacher and dwells on the thought ‘log kya kahenge’ until she breaks free. I loved the relationship Noni Appa and Binni shared and how supportive Binni and Noni Appa’s daughter was of her decision. I loved the fact that Noni Appa broke free from “log kya kahenge’ and set an example for the society.
Elisa Thomas- Elisa was married for five times with five weird men. Sooner than later she got back to her parents house leaving her marriage behind. Her well educated father always said that ‘a man is a man is man’. The story intended to bring out the fact that according to the society, independent, well-educated women need a man to survive in the society even if the man in her life is insane or just for the namesake.
Bablu Kewat- Inspired from the achievements of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man famously known as the man who wore a sanitary pad. All Bablu Kewat wanted was to make a low cost sanitary napkin which will benefit the women who cannot afford the expensive sanitary napkins sold by the big conglomerates. Little did he know that his noble intentions would be misread and he will lose his friends, family and respect? But this didn’t stop him until he achieved his goal. This story stood apart in the book because it was the only story with a male protagonist thriving to make a change for the female sanitization which was considered a as a female problem, a taboo to be spoken about.
The stories are simply narrated and various issues are highlighted. There are times where Khanna’s cynical narration makes the reader grin. It is a quick read for all the Twinkle Khanna fans.