Author – Twinkle Khanna
Publisher – Juggernaut
Pages – 260
Format Read- Print, softcover
Kindleandkompass rating – 2.5/5
Well, we all know why we love Twinkle Khanna. Her satirical yet meaningful columns have always inspired readers and thrown light at the day to day issues through indirect but humorous jibes at the expense of the society, politics and more than often by taking potshots at herself and her family that appealed to most readers. And like most others, I never miss a column of hers and for the same reason, I try hard to keep up with all the books that she has authored. It is no secret that her earlier books failed to impress the reader in me. But when the latest from the author came to me as a gift from a friend, there was no way I could stay away from reading it – and this time, it appears, Mrs.Khiladi has done a better job than her earlier attempts at novel writing – remember, I said better in comparison to her earlier works, not the best.
“Pyjamas are forgiving” is the story of a middle aged Anshu battling her loneliness after her husband dumped her for a much younger and prettier wife. She takes refuge in Kerala’s Shaantamaaya Ayurvedic retreat to fight her sleeplessness where a certain Dr.Menon and Dr.Pillai send her through a 28 days process of cleansing and purgation that was meant to reset her body into a path of recovery. The story takes a twist when her ex-husband Jay and his young wife Shaalini along with Jay’s cousin Lalit enters the scene at Shaantamaaya’s otherwise peaceful atmosphere that Anshu had taken refuge in to escape from the gnawing emotional issues that always haunted her post separation.
“We have all gone back to take second helpings of our favorite dessert. This is also the same thing” – Lalit to Anshu when he discovers that she’s been sleeping with Jay.
Mrs. Khanna’s representation of Anshu’s character draws both attention and criticism from the readers. As much as we try to believe that Anshu is a woman of character, someone reborn from the ashes that touched her life, all that comes crumbling to dust when Jay sweet talks her into physical intimacy, always promising a future ahead, whereas in reality, he had nothing but his own selfish motives ahead of him. Lalit and the thin frail Jenna and the story line between them is sketchy and lacks depth.
While the author has managed to pack in a punch with some well delivered humorous statements, few others completely failed to leave an impression. Of course, it is worth mentioning that few lines were chuckle worthy, but if you have read her columns regularly, you know that most of those are re-cycled one liners with a fresh coat of paint.
The initial pace of the story line that made me believe that this was a completely different and better book by the author dropped as I crossed over to the second half of the book and the plot became weaker and weaker as it approached the concluding chapters. The ending is pretty loose – not that it is not good but it could definitely have been better if it had to leave us with a memory of Anshu who won her battles – both with her inner self, and her cajoling ex-husband who was almost always able to use his pretentious love for her to his own gain. Instead, we take away an image of “Poor desperate Anshu!” who despite almost knowing always that it was too good to be true, got carried away by hopes that her husband plans to return to his “Juju”.
As much as we love Mrs.Khiladi and few of her books, we think she should probably stick to writing columns that are short but thought worthy words of wisdom with the right amount of humor blended into it – because here is proof you can take an actor out of Bollywood, but definitely not take Bollywood out of an actor.
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