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Twinkle Twinkle, Not-So-Little Star!



I got to know Twinkle  Khanna when she started seeing my friend Akshay Kumar in 1999-2000. She was  always a misfit in the movies, way too bright to be playing the airheaded  bimbo roles that came her way.

And the one time that she got to do an acting part in  the film Mela Twinkle and I would be  in  splits over how much ACTING director Dharmesh Darshan expected from her. In fact when she could not ACT  as much the director required her to , Dharmesh would get hysterical on the sets and start throwing up.

The one  good thing that came out of Mela was her friendship with Aamir Khan which has  endured  to this day  .And  the one good thing that came out of a film called Khiladi 420(I think that’s what it was called) was that Twinkle met and fell in love with Akshay Kumar. They were soon married .

Smirking  industry types gave the  marriage 6 months. It’s lasted 17 years.

I remember an ex-girlfriend  of Akshay who is a very dear friend of mine telling me, “He has  married her only  because she looks like me. He will soon tire of her. He is a chichora(slimy)  lover. Not  a good boyfriend and  an impossible husband.”

 Twinkle  made sure  the marriage  lasted.She had seen her own  parents’  marriage come apart. Twinkle  didn’t want her children to suffer the consequences  of  a  broken home.

I am not saying she has  kept her marriage  going for her children’s sake. The marriage has lasted even while  her neighbour Hrithik’s marriage has broken apart, because  she knows exactly how to handle her  husband without crowding him. Here is a couple that  does its  own things and yet finds  a  common ground  constantly.

 This month will see Twinkle turn producer with Pad Man.The film which she co-produces with Prernaa Arora(herself an entrepreneur of  substance)  and   R Balki. Not too many know that Pad Man is actually based on a short story by Twinkle….Oh , and speaking  of Twinkle, she abhors  that name and prefers  to be called ‘Tina’  …Like Christine  who likes to be know as Lady Bird in the new Hollywood film of that title.

Twinkle is  quite a Lady Bird herself.Soaring above mediocrity that defines  our entertainment industry.

 I remember being a part  of  an argument between Twinkle, alias Tina, and her gorgeous mother Dimple Kapadia on why she, the Mom, had chosen to name her daughter Twinkle.

“What  did  you have against me?”  Twinkle/Tina mock-ribbed her guffawing mother.I laugh now even at the memory of  Twinkle’s mock-dismay.

Yup, I really  like Akshay Kumar’s wife. There was  a time she would say any and every thing to me , the way one would to a  pal even though I am  years older than her.We don’t speak that often any more, Twinkle/Tina and I . But we should. She serves as a  constant reminder  of what  a sham showbiz can be and how she shunned  it because she  couldn’t bear to be  acting all the time.

Having said all of this, I  must also share the real reason why I have a soft corner for MrsAkshay Khanna. It’s her father. Rajesh Khanna is  the only male actor I’ve idolized. To me he  was and he remains  the  ultimate star. And for me Twinkle is firstly India’s only bonafidesuperstar’s daughter before she  is another superstar’s wife.

Heck, she  is a  star herself. Such an original in a world of sham and  copies. When I first got to know her I’d constantly ask Twinkle about her father. What was he like?  Did he spend a lot of time with his two  daughters?  Twinkle didn’t like speaking about her father back then. Now when he is gone  and she’s so confident  as   a  human being, woman, daughter, wife and mother,  she is comfortable talking about being THE Rajesh Khanna’s daughter.

 One of these days we are going to sit together and talk and talk and talk about my favourite actor. But then Twinkle is so busy. She wears so many hats.She runs  an immaculate home, a perfect  business place… she  is a terrific  wife mother and author and  truly the successful woman behind the successful man called Akshay Kumar.

Akshay,  hold on to your wife with your dear life.

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