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Turning over a new cheek

Published : Aug 14, 2019, 1:13 am IST
Updated : Aug 14, 2019, 1:13 am IST

According to the author, the most difficult part of writing a book is working out the plot.

By Khyrunnisa A., Publisher: Westland, Pp. 184, Rs 250.
 By Khyrunnisa A., Publisher: Westland, Pp. 184, Rs 250.

In an era where we are expected to excel at every task thrown at us, a bit of humour can help humanise our monotonous life. We all experience funny episodes, some of us even put them down in our journals. But, have you ever wished to share these experiences as anecdotes in a book to add a sparkle to the exhausting days of other people? Well, Khyrunnisa, prize-winning author of children’s fiction, is doing just that through her book titled Tongue in Cheek.

How complicated do you think is the life of an urban woman? If you want to know, Tongue in Cheek is a compilation of this unique creature’s experiences and misadventures. These easy-to-relate-to short stories are written around incidents that we encounter on a daily basis but taking them to a whole other level. A touch of whimsy like this is what you need on a day when you just want to escape from a humdrum schedule. With a witty ‘claimer’ (the opposite of a disclaimer, in case the word had you stumped) – this is a work of non-fiction. Names, places and incidents are not entirely the product of the author’s imagination and every resemblance to any actual person, living or dead, creature, great or small, events momentous or trivial, and locales, exotic or familiar, is deliberate,” says the author, tongue firmly in cheek.

When asked which episode she likes the most among all the incidents she has published, Khyrunnisa says, “There are quite a few I like very much, for various reasons, but my favourite is the rubber-band episode. I remember that I wrote it immediately after it happened. The whole episode was absurd and the words just flowed from my pen. I didn’t have to change a single word – it was an inspired piece of writing. I was delighted it turned out to be very funny and was so widely appreciated.” From common mistakes we all make like confusing kulchas with phulkas to the epic washing-up exercise that makes the kitchen look as though several crows have had a celebratory bath there, Khyrunnisa’s book sure has one for every reader. Also discussing how her husband ‘who has no choice’, feels about featuring in the book, she laughs, “Anyway, he’s resigned to his fate. He wonders whether he needs to get a mask for himself.” Her son, meanwhile, is ‘very happy with his brief appearances’.What cheek!

According to the author, the most difficult part of writing a book is working out the plot. She explains, “I generally do that in my head, carrying it around until I get creative satisfaction and then I sit down to write.” Speaking about what’s next, Khyrunnisa says, “I have a few vague ideas for books that include another compilation, some travel writing, a novel, a collection of short stories, and another Butterfingers novel.” Her sage advice to aspiring writers: “Keep reading and keep writing. Writing is very hard work; keep on at it.”

Tags: tongue in cheek