Saturday 12 December 2015

Book ~ "Yes, My Accent Is Real and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You" (2015) Kunal Nayyar

From Goodreads ~ Of all the charming misfits on television, there’s no doubt Raj from "The Big Bang Theory" - the sincere yet incurably geeky Indian-American astrophysicist - ranks among the misfittingest. Now, we meet the actor who is every bit as loveable as the character he plays on TV. In this revealing collection of essays written in his irreverent, hilarious and self-deprecating voice, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to the confident, successful actor on the set of TV’s most-watched sitcom since "Friends".

Going behind the scenes of "The Big Bang Theory" and into his personal experiences, Kunal introduces readers to the people who helped him grow, such as his James Bond-loving, mustachioed father who taught him the most important lessons in life: Treat a beggar as you would a king. There are two sides to every story. A smile goes a long way. And, when in doubt, use a spreadsheet. Kunal also walks us through his college years in Portland, where he takes his first sips of alcohol and learns to let loose with his French, 6’8” gentle-giant roommate, works his first-ever job for the university’s housekeeping department cleaning toilets for minimum wage, and begins a series of romantic exploits that go just about as well as they would for Raj (that is, until he meets and marries a former Miss India in an elaborate seven-day event that we get to experience in a chapter titled “My Big Fat Indian Wedding”).

Full of heart but never taking itself too seriously, this witty and often inspiring collection of underdog tales follows a young man as he traverses two continents in search of a dream, along the way transcending culture and language (and many, many embarrassing incidents) to somehow miraculously land the role of a lifetime.

I like Big Bang Theory and the character of Raj Koothrappali, played by actor Kunal Nayyar ... so that's why this book caught my eye.  And I enjoyed it.  It is a collection of stories from the author's life.

Nayyar was born in England but moved to India with his family when he was young.  In this book, he tells stories of his childhood ... his first kiss with his cousin's friend and how his heart was broken when he discovered that she actually had a boyfriend, how he was a badminton champion, etc.

He moved to the States to go to university.  He first moved to Portland, OR, to study business (he went on to graduate with a degree in business).  There he was roommates with Dziko, a giant French guy, who became a lifelong friend.  He tells stories of the girls he thought he loved and the jobs he did to get by.  He started acting in plays as a way of making new friends, which led to him taking acting classes (he ended up a master's degree in fine arts from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA).  While working in a raw food restaurant in Los Angeles, he got his big break as Raj.

He married Neha Kapur, a former Miss India, in 2011.  He tells of their week long traditional wedding celebrations and ceremony.

I liked the writing style ... it was casual and as if he was sitting with me and telling me the stories.  I liked his humour and honesty.  As a head's up, there is some swearing.

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