Twinkle Khanna doesn’t mince her words, and she doesn’t need to. Eloquent, confident and candid, Twinkle, who has become the toast of the town with her new book, is amused at her new-found success. Chilling in her sea-facing home, she says she’s happiest while gardening and getting her hands dirty. The actor-turned-writer doesn’t care about public perception despite being a star kid and says she wants a simple life.
It seems like the world has rediscovered you with your columns, books and social media interactions…
I am the same. I don’t know if I have grown up or the world has. Maybe today, I can refine my words and convey my point of view better, but I have always lived in a slightly unconventional manner. My world doesn’t depend on what people think of me. I have reached a stage in life where I can faintly see the finishing line and the mist ahead. I am going to do what I want to do, as I have only so much time on earth.
Perhaps people are talking about you because you’re once again in the limelight?
That’s because I have been writing. I have had two phases of public life. First as an actor — which wasn’t a successful one — and then I made a successful life for myself that wasn’t so public, with my flourishing interior design business, home and children. Now, with writing, people are comparing things [my careers], while I feel I have led a decent life for the past 10-20 years. I grew up with a spotlight on my head and didn’t like it. Now, I am happy living my life. It has been my quest to just be. Public perception keeps varying and I want to be true to myself.
Are you enjoying your success and popularity as a writer more than your success as an actor?
I wasn’t successful as an actor, so how could I enjoy that? It was a chore for me, as acting didn’t come naturally to me. My whole life has been defined by my love for words. Today, I am in a world that is a strong part of me, so I am enjoying it more than anything else. In fact, I wanted to become a writer much later in life, when my kids were all grown up. I thought I’d be more evolved by then and would have more things to say. We are so scared of failure and what people will say that we don’t take it [opportunities]. I took it and I still don’t know why.
Akshay and I share common values on how we want to raise a family. We have a strong work ethic, we don’t want a life filled with sycophants; we want a simple life. - Twinkle Khanna, actor.
What have you learnt from Akshay Kumar (husband)?
I have been lucky... He has a strange and stable mind. He has laser-sharp focus and dedication, and he completes the task at hand no matter what. He won’t get bored or distracted, whereas I am more of a scatterbrain. I admire that he is meticulous and he has an incredible amount of patience. We both share common values on how we want to raise a family. We have a strong work ethic, we don’t want a life filled with sycophants; we want a simple life.
Your interactions on the social media range from hilarious to irreverent.
Sometimes, I call myself ‘Twink baba’ but that’s not really what I am. I am on earth for a short while, so I have to make a difference in the world that I exist. Secondly, I have to entertain myself. I have no noble agendas, if others are getting entertained, that’s fantastic.
With your forthright views on women and feminism, do you feel like a poster girl for feminism?
I say what I think. I have lived with strong role models who lived exactly the way they pleased. There were no rules, no conventional goals and this was 15 years ago. Today, feminism is a word used often but back then there was no social awareness. We were taught to live our lives as we pleased, and my sister (Rinke) and I did. We were lucky to not be bound by norms. I don’t know if people are happy to emulate me and if that gives them freedom. If it’s so, then that’s wonderful.
Do you regret quitting acting?
Never. I wanted to leave much before.
I have lived with strong role models who lived exactly the way they pleased. There were no rules, no conventional goals . -Twinkle Khanna, actor.
Was there ever a time when you loved acting?
I wasn’t going on the sets and being miserable, as I met interesting people and went to great places. But, as a professional, I wasn’t happy. My auditory skills are poor and I am pathetic at listening, and acting requires that. Maybe that’s why I talk so much.
Would you want your kids to be actors?
I would be happy if that’s what they want to do or even if its anything else. I am waiting to see what their aptitudes are, what they are passionate about and then guide them. Ultimately, it will be their choice.