Pyjamas Are Forgiving by Twinkle Khanna


They say that women are a difficult thing to understand and this coming-of-age fictional story of Anshu in her 40s, is a written testimony to that. Divorced for four years but still not quite in remission, she finds herself face-to-face with her ex-husband (Jay) and his young wife (Shalini) in an Ayurvedic hospital called Shanthamaaya Sthalam in Kerela, locked in for a month like inmates of Big Boss show. Her feeling is well crafted in the lines below:

“A few minutes later I crossed my legs, inhaled, and began a series of breathing exercises. Kapalbhati, bhastrika, anuloma viloma, holding, and then letting go. Cycles that I have mastered and done so many times that if they had wheels I would have reached Ladakh by now.”

Although Anshu has quite moved on in the physical world and now owns a playschool in Mumbai rather than teaching in one, she is not able to contain her emotions when she meets him after so many years. What then follows is a series of denials, ego clashes, and sins (Yes! sex between the exes) that turns Anshu into a big ball of confusion and guilt about going back to the man who had deceived her for something that looked glamorous. But Khanna, the author, is smarter than ending her story with a much predictable reunion. By the end, Anshu realizes that her self-respect is more precious than the call of her past and her surging hormones. By the climax, Anshu out-powers her emotional vulnerabilities and accepts the fact that she does not want to become a domesticated pet again, in awe of its owner.

This is Twinkle Khanna’s third book, her first being Mrs. Funnybones, where she introduces herself as the wife of Bollywood’s A-listed actor- Akshay Kumar, who has a weird and funny way of looking at the world. In this book too, Twinkle leaves no stone unturned to display her sense of humor one of which I quote below:

“Sometimes I would spot young children from the nearby village climbing over the wall in worn shirts and dingy vests peeking at us. I wondered what went through the children’s minds when they saw us, people in white, walking endlessly round and round the garden. Did they think this was an asylum? And we the deranged inmates in need of electric shocks?”

Twinkle has an eye for intricate details when she explains the characters, their emotions, the settings, the weather, the objects around them, and everything else in vivid images rather than words. Pyjamas are forgiving in nature. It’s the jeans that hold on to grudges for long. That’s what the author means when her protagonist Anshu forgives her ex and leaves the ashram quietly.

The book is a must-read for women because they often prefer dimming their lights to glorify the other.

“For myself, for Jenna, for so many women like us, trained to appease, bending backward till we find ourselves lying flat on the floor as someone tramples all over us.”

Ms. Gunjan Khaitan.

An avid Reader, a mother, a spiritual speaker, and a book reviewer.

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Fly High Women: Feminism, Innovation, and Inspiration in Action And how you too can fly high! Buy One, Gift One
Fly High Women: Feminism, Innovation, and Inspiration in Action And how you too can fly high! Buy One, Gift One