Book Review: The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna

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Twinkle Khanna is an acclaimed columnist and the bestselling author of Mrs Funnybones.

Her Second Book “The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad ” has gained recognition as the 1st Classic Fiction Book in Best Sellers.

This book is a collection of short stories.The setup , the theme of stories is different and the characterization will steal your heart.

First and foremost while reading the book, I loved the way she has dedicated it to her husband with words” Each time there is a power cut, you, my friend, always have a flashlight handy.”

There are four stories in this book :

  1. The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad
  2. Salaam, Noni Appa
  3. If the Weather Permits
  4. The Sanitary Man from a Sacred Land

 

  1. The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad:

The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, which talks about the view of society about the girl child birth.  This is also the title of this book,  starts off as a village filled with people who dread the birth of a girl child.

But as the story progressed, it turned out to be so much more. The central character, Lakshmi Prasad, actually goes on to change the thinking of her entire village, after what happens with her elder sister’s marriage.

Lakshmi Prasad’s father quotes these lines to Lakshmi after what happens to his eldest daughter ” That is why a son is so important, for his old parents to lean on.With daughters, all our life savings go away in giving and giving.”

Lakshmi comes up with a brilliant idea of planting trees for every birth of girl child and every year her trees will bear fruit and the money will be saved for her education, and for her marriage.

These lines are  extract from the Book:

“Each time a daughter is born, we will celebrate and plant ten jardalu (Golden Mango) trees for her and they will belong to her forever. Ten trees like the ten fingers with which we women can hold our own destinies firmly in our hands.”

2. Salaam, Noni Appa:

Salam, Noni Appa is about the serenity of love, at it’s simplest form. It’s a tale of finding love in the loneliness of old age. Finding companion and defying the baseless notion of society that we hold above of what our heart wishes.

Noni Appa was a dignified widow, a woman who had an exemplary life.

The Sisterly love between Noni Appa and Binni has been beautifully depicted. Their life together had been filled with banter, silly jibes and jests, which tragedies, deaths and creaking bones had left unchanged. When Noni Appa wrote duas in her book, she prayed for Binni’s long life more than her own, because if not for her sister, her life would be an arid desert without any laughter- filled oasis.

This again, challenges society’s way of thinking by depicting a 68 year old widow who falls in love with a married man who is a couple of years younger than she is. There’s also a struggle to come to terms with the knowledge that love can hit you, regardless of your age and that the ‘What will people say’ question is always going to get in the way. The characters in this story are fun too. There’s Binni, Noni Appa’s younger sister (also a widow) with her dry wit and quick comebacks. There’s Anand ji, the yoga instructor Noni Appa falls in love with, who is kind and calm and really likeable. And there’s Anand ji’s wife Jyotsna, who is a temper tantrum personified. No sympathy whatsoever is felt for her, when Anand ji also falls for Noni Appa!

 

3. If the Weather Permits:

If the weather permits is a story on the society rule of marry off your daughter at the ‘perfect age’ irrespective of her readiness. This story will touch your heart and make you think twice.

If The Weather Permits is a really bittersweet tale. It is the story of almost every Indian girl who is, as people say, of ‘a marriageable age’. The Main Character is Elisa Thomas, a Malayali-Christian who marries all of five times. She briefly belonged to many, but truly to herself.  Each time, she gets married only because she is browbeaten into it by her parents. She has an older sister who is married, with a child and is thus a perfect example of how a woman should be, according to her parents. Her husbands are all really strange men (one wants to kill himself and the other, also wants to kill himself and tries to kill Elisa too) so you will totally not judge her for running away each time! Her sister is the only one who understands what Elisa is going through. Suffice it to say that it’s not a happy ending, but something that’ll leave you thinking and gazing away into the distance, once you’ve turned the final page.

These lines are  extract from the Book:

“Things have a way of turning up when they want to be found, though they may not always be the things you actually want to find.”

 

4.  The Sanitary Man from a Sacred Land:

The last story the sanitary man of sacred land is based on a true story of a man who invented a machine of making sanitary napkins at low cost. This heart warming story will inspire you.

This short story is written in chapter form, with a total of 27 chapters.  Prabhash Kewat, a.k.a Bablu, is a villager with a sweet wife and a doting mother. He has a decent job and all seems well. But, he seems to be obsessed with sanitary napkins, something that does not go down well with his wife, who is initially the only person to know about this. Bablu is a man on a mission. One day, while purchasing a pack of sanitary pads for his wife as a present, he realizes what a rip-off they are. He then sets about trying to create sanitary pads that are cheaper, with no compromise on quality. He faces tons of problems in the process. He is ostracized by the village, left alone by first his wife and then his mother and ridiculed for his appearance and his obsession. With the help of a college professor, he works hard and creates four machines that can finally churn out good quality, affordable pads. What’s more, he goes on to employ women to handle these machines, wanting every woman to be independent.

This fictionalized  story has been based on Arunachalam Muruganantham and his marvelous invention, the low cost sanitary pad making machine.

————————

Each story differs in its length.  Each story comes with a brand new thought that is bold and impact. Twinkle Khanna’s writing truly fills you up with admiration, inspiration and a distinct joy. She can be razor sharp or put you in a fit of laughter with her choice of words, at the same time putting some sense in you.

Quirky, simply written stories with a clear meaning and strong messages. The author has a distinct style of writing and there are strong morals underlying her work. Filled with fun, well developed characters whom we can relate to and stories of everyday life that we can understand, the book makes for quite a fascinating read.

 I think that every person should read this book as there is a lot to take away from the stories.  Focusing on women empowerment and the important role that women play, the author has largely depicted the trials that women face in their everyday lives.

I loved all the stories and cannot pick a favorite since each has their own specialty. All I can say, without giving away much about the plot lines, is that the book is definitely a pick-me-up and worth all the time spent on it!

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