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YES, MY ACCENT IS REAL

Author: Kunal Nayyar

Total pages: 245

Total approximate words: 84000


There is no other way to start writing this without mentioning that I am pretty huge fan of the show “THE BIG BANG THEORY”. Actually, any show created by Chuck Lorre, for that matter. The first time I saw TBBT, I just moved out of my parent’s house in Siliguri (a small town in the foothills of the Himalayas), to Mumbai and then to Delhi. Given the differences in their personalities (yes, cities do have their own personalities), it took me comparatively more time to adjust to the snobbishness of Delhi, after I had a taste of Mumbai’s 'too cool for school' attitude. In those times of dire loneliness in my one room apartment in Malviya Nagar (a very dusty, narrow laned colony in South Delhi), I came across the legendary characters of Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, Howard and Penny, and we have been friends since then (they don’t know about this friendship). Four years after, when I came back to Delhi from Dubai, to meet my sister (also a TBBT fan), I saw Kunal Nayyar on one of her book’s cover pages. I don’t have to tell you that I jumped on it (with my hands actually) and embraced it like I have found one of the treasures that I didn’t even know existed! Although I am going to rate the book at the end of this blog, but let me just give you spoiler alert already. Awesomeness.



SYNOPSIS


It is not really a memoir, but more of a collection of stories from the actor’s life. Majorly focused on his life in the U.S., first as a student, and then as a struggling actor, and then finally being a star. Pretty much throughout the book, he keeps mentioning about his family (which is kind of sweet), and his love for Indian culture (festivals esp.). He writes about his crushes, and his first real girlfriend, her introducing the 90s rock music to him, her peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and their love for each other, followed by a heart wrenching break up. Nayyar’s part time acting classes stories while pursuing a bachelors degree in marketing, and then eventually going for a masters in acting. Here and there he shares interesting snippets from his struggling days as an actor, and the life lessons that he learned during those times. He concludes the book with how he met his wife, a former miss India, and about them celebrating the Indian festivals in their home in Los Angeles.


What I liked about the book?


The cover pages! The narration, ease of reading, the honest writing, the quirky details wherever required, the practical life hacks/ lessons, the college vibes.


What I didn’t like about the book?


That it wasn't a full-blown memoir.



Lines that made me smile, feel good, and kept me wanting for some more.

“It taught me at a tender age of twelve that everything in life isn’t always about you, even if you are sure it is.”


“It’s funny how, as kids and teenagers, we have friendships and relationships that, at the time, feel like the most cherished bonds of our lives, and then, as the years go by, we find ways to replace the irreplaceable.”


“Rakhi: annual Indian holiday honoring the bonds between siblings, close relatives, and friends. Also, the ultimate cock-block.”


“Since I was so accustomed to someone taking care of the laundry back home, I had this misunderstanding that somehow, perhaps while I was in class, our bedsheets were being laundered for us at least once a week. Apparently this wasn’t the case. I slept in the same sheets for eleven months without them ever being washed.”


“About religion versus desire. Was it right to eat beef when doing so was so completely against everything I was taught as a child? Did that make me a sinner? And if so, should I too be as morally conflicted as Allison? And then it hit me. I just really liked beef. Allison just really liked women. And if God really gave a damn he would have struck us both down with lightning for our sins. You see, in my opinion, God didn’t care if I ate beef or if Allison was a lesbian. He only cared that I tipped the waiter who brought me my burger and that Allison lived a life that made her happy.”


“I floated away from that audition. I took a walk through Central Park, enjoying the crisp February air and visualizing my future on Broadway. I sipped a hot chocolate and gazed at the skyline. This is the life I want. I’m going to be a star.”


“I’d come to see that my work was the only piece of the whole enterprise that I could control.”


“If you have no other offer, take the one offer you have.”


“That was it. That was his moment of elation. A fish taco, a friend, a beer, and a sunset.”



CONCLUSION


Even though it is not the old school memoir, however if you love reading memoirs, you would enjoy reading this book. There is so much personal revelation, and sincerity in the stories shared, that reading this book will leave you grinning till your jaws hurt. The stories weaved from the author/ actor’s life reflects his humility which is very prominent in his writing. The earnest details of his college life are so relatable that it would make you smile all throughout the book. The honest opinions about life and failures and success and friendships are heart-warming. It is a wonderful book without the bulk of a memoir, yet would show the author’s reflection in a way that would make you fall in love with him. An overall 8.5 for this awesome book.


Ease of reading: 9/10

Writing style (to keep the reader engaged): 9/10

Resonating to the reader (moving, and relatable): 8/10


Do let me know your opinion about this awesome book through an email or post it in the comments section. Best five responses will be featured in the website.


Happy reading!


DISCLAIMER


This review is based on my personal reading of the book and understanding it with my own limited experiences. This review is just a singular perspective and not the only one.










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