A delightfully funny collection of essays by the Indian-American actor, Kunal Nayyar, who plays the loveable, sincere yet incurably dorky character Raj in The Big Bang Theory. In this revealing book, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a nervous little boy in New Dehli who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress the other students at his all-boys school to the confident guy on the set of one of the television’s most-watched shows who one day eve gets to kiss the woman of his childhood dreams: Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years.
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, a 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.”)
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read as I’m a fan of The Big Bang Theory but didn’t know too much about Kunal Nayyar. While Kunal is obviously not the character he plays on TV, this felt a bit like the silent Raj finally getting a chance to talk. I loved reading the essays full of his self-deprecating humor and brutal honesty. Nayyar didn’t shy away from talking about the errors in judgment he’s made in the past, and the moments of jealousy and feelings of unfairness he’s experienced. Whether founded or not, it’s not always easy to admit when you think you’ve missed an opportunity because of your own skills or because of other people’s prejudices. And Kunal discusses that head on.
His sections of “Thoughts Recorded On an Aeroplane Cocktail Napkin” are mixed with both funny and insightful advice, and the behind the scenes chapters will be sure to delight fans of the sitcom. Yes, My Accent is Real is so perfectly titled as it encapsulates Nayyar’s essays that embrace his heritage and showcase his humor. The whole book illustrated the hard work and perseverance that it took for Kunal to get to where he’s at today and I loved reading about his continuing journey.And I am sure you would too find it interesting. Honestly, I finished this book in two days as it kept engaged! Happy Reading! 🙂
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“Don’t forget to remember, if you’re not smiling you’re doing it wrong”- Alex Wassabi