By Tasnima Yasmin
Whoever thinks that humour isn’t a woman’s forte hasn’t read Tongue In Cheek by Khyrunnisa A. Cheeky, quirky and everything witty, this is a light read, one to lift up your mood, to take you through bursts of giggles and chuckles around all that is mundane and humdrum about life. Imaginative with an eye for detail and an observant eye for that matter of fact, Khyrunnisa is awake to every little shift in mood and change of temperament around her that puts her in a position to pen down rib tickling chapters on just about anything and everything.
For example, garbage and the perks of having to throw it out on time everyday for the garbage collector to pick it up from its designated place. Sounds like an ordinary act that we all perform everyday and clearly one that we are not too fond of because it has a pre requisite i.e. of having to wake up on a given time in the morning to throw it out. A difficult task indeed made all the more difficult with the garbage collector not maintaining the time schedule. This leaves the author paranoid and finally she goes to the extent of thinking and dreaming garbage all the while. There is no solution nonetheless, but it brings the chance for just another funny incident being turned into content for some humorous speculation.
Delightful and entertaining, the tag line to the book says it all. It is a take at the end of the day, Khyrunnisa’s take on the incidents she encounters in her day to day life. Be it eating out or attending a big fat South Indian wedding party, there is ample fun in everyday life as Khyrunnisa picks on idiosyncrasies of the people she meets, to introduce readers to characters that become as relatable as an uncle in the family or a distant cousin who is encountered rarely but every meeting with him brings out room for fun and jokes. There is fun yet there is no making fun of anybody in the book. There is poking fun at the absurdity of situations that is beyond anyone’s control. It is all unadulterated and clean language games in the end that sustains the humour. There is nothing dark, sadistic or sarcastic about Khyrunnisa’s humour. It is heart touching and calls for a hearty laugh if not an ear- to- ear smile, some grinning and teary chuckles. It is this purity about her humour that has the wit of a columnist and the depth of a poet making her world ever so relatable.
The book is arranged in thirteen sections with a broad heading and chapters within those headings revolve around the same broad topic. Despite the arrangement, there is no hard and fast rule about having to read the book in any particular order. The chapters though related, make perfect sense if read in an assortment from one broad topic to another. The book cover is well designed with many of the characters from the incidents coming alive in the form of caricatures.
Tasnima Yasmin is an Indian poet and book critic. Her poetry collections include Silhouette and Other Poems (2019) and My Little Book of Nonsensical Poetry (2020). Her poetry has been published in Indian and international literary magazines, journals and anthologies. She is presently pursuing her PhD in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.