Twinkle Khanna, who won many hearts as an actress in the late 1990s, has come up with a collection of short stories. Titled ‘The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad’, the book is about female emancipation.

The actor-turned-author says that she borrowed the characters for the book from the first manuscript she wrote when she was barely 18 years old.

Excerpts of a conversation with Subhash K. Jha.

Q: Tell me about your growth as a writer’ You were always fond of reading. When and how did you discover and nurture the writer within yourself’

A: I wrote half a book when I was 18 and in fact the characters Noni Appa and Binni from my new book The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad were originally part of that manuscript. This is my third attempt that has finally appeared in print, where the story revolved around the two old ladies and another character Anandji. I also carried around a black felt file as a teenager that contained all the poems that I had jotted down, primarily about maggots and death. I have always been immersed in a world filled with words, earlier as a reader and now finally as both a reader and a writer.

Q: How did The Legend Of Laxmi Prasad come about’ Do you feel it says the stories in exactly the way you wanted them told’

A: I was doing some research on menstruation for a column. I read about Arunachalam Muruganantham’s life and work and his story gripped me and that is when I sat down, wrote the first few pages and sent them off to my editor to have a look. I then began chasing Muruga and after numerous lengthy interviews, he agreed to let me fictionalise his story and that is how this book started. The other stories then followed. They were all topics I had briefly touched upon through my columns and now I could weave a substantial tale around them.

Q: Tell me about your next book’

A: I haven’t begun. I have some ideas for a book about dystopian India but we shall see.

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