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.