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Monday, September 28, 2015

Yes My Accent Is Real and some other things I havent told you by Kunal Nayyar

Title:  Yes My Accent Is Real and some other things I haven' t told you
Author:  Kunal Nayyar
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date:  2015
Price: Rs. 375
Pages: 240

Kunal Nayyar is no stranger to anyone who has embraced the American series, The Big Bang Theory(TBBT), one of the best ones ever, especially for PhD nerds like me, because they for the first time established that "nerds are cool". For the uninitiated, stop reading this right now and go watch the show. Kunal Nayyar plays the character of Rajesh Ramayan Koothrappalli aka Raj in the series, which is a story of four nerdy physics guys and their lives around a beautiful non-scientific neighbour Penny.

Raj represents not just the fact that one-fourth of America is now filled with Indians but he brings out a lot of India onto the American show and he does it so well that he is a character sure to amuse you, especially the episodes centered around him will keep you laughing for all twenty minutes. But how much of him is this beloved character of ours? What is it like to make it big post migrating from India onto one of the best American series? And most importantly how has his personal journey been? These so far are the things Kunal writes about.

The first chapter about life coming around is the cutest and most interesting chapters, one of those that make you feel that life can sometimes be larger and in a strange way make your fantasies come true and it just doesn't happen in Yash Raj films. Kunal talks a lot about the most hilarious episodes of his life in India, the innocent dreams and assumptions of a teen growing in India, the peculiarities of Indian culture, his family, etc . before moving to the USA. Life for an Indian begins with a lot of cultural shock once abroad and Kunal was no exception, except for the hilarious manner in which he puts it on paper and brings it to life. The loneliness in the beginning to learning their ways and ultimately finding friends difficult to leave. 

There is romance, heartbreak, some pure wise advice in this phase. It also has his journey into theatre,  perfecting each dialogue, multiple rejections, forming a band, deciding to go for acting as a career instead of his steady MBA profession, rejections while trying to make it into the industry and finally the moment the reader is waiting for, The Big Bang Theory auditions. The book again culminates into his personal life and him meeting his dream girl in none other than ex-miss India universe, Neha Kapur and has a lot about "Indian weddings" 
This book however as mentioned in the blurb is more a personal account and all about Kunal himself, there are just a few insiders from the TBBT episodes but the reader does want more. For example a reader would always want to know how it was with fellow workers? Is he great friends with them in real life? Who helped whom in the beginning? And since he wrote a chapter around his character entitles "Thirteen things I have learnt playing an Astrophysicist on TV", we just wanted to hear him write at least a paragraph about his co-workers.

The USP of the book is that it is very real, without the grandiose of the written word. It's simple, sweet, an easy and entertaining read. Kunal pens even some hard times lightly so that the time of the book is maintained. He doesn't exaggerate his happiness or sadness. Also Kunal does have a geeky side to him like Raj, but unlike him is proud to be an Indian, imagining real life people as characters and going about it.

So if you are a Kunal Nayyar fan you will definitely love to know more about him and this book is the best way to do so, until he writes his autobiography ( since he writes well). If you pick it up for TBBT love, you will find a reasonable amount of Kunal's work, but as mentioned earlier you will want more. But if you have that Indian friend you wish to understand better, this book will definitely tell you a lot about where he is coming from. Hoping Kunal's next book is " The Making of TBBT" and I am really waiting for that one. Hope you are reading if Kunal.And I am off to watching #TBBT from the beginning for probably the eighth time (lost count), can't resist! I did tell you in my last post it is one of my most favourite shows, didn't I?

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