I looked out the window and saw the rain pouring down in bucket loads. I dragged my feet to the campus bookstore in search of one book (and a t-shirt, but that’s a whole other story). I looked around, finding nothing. I asked an employee, who had nothing more to say than “we ordered it for next Friday, but we don’t know when they’re coming in.”
I texted my mom, asking her if we could go to my local Barnes and Noble. We went that night. Something called me to the “New Releases” section, since it was a newer release. “Kunal!” I exclaimed. I took the book with me everywhere.
Kunal Nayyar’s book, Yes, My Accent is Real: And Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You, was released on September 15, 2015 and it reveals some things he never told his fans. It tells the autobiographical story of the Big Bang Theory star (Nayyar plays Raj). The book goes from events from when he was younger and his college years to his wedding and being on one of the most popular TV shows on the air. His story is down-to-earth and relatable.
The back cover’s “What Some People Have Said About Yes, My Accent is Real” is hilarious and clever. It appears that he came up with his own comments and they are so funny! He even wrote one from Raj’s perspective. The “Queen of England’s” comment claims that this book is all about India. This is partially true. It is about Nayyar’s background influencing how he interacted with others when he went to the United States for college. It was a funny play off of his past and how it influences him today.
According to the book, Nayyar was born in London England, but his family moved to India when he was younger. The book discusses his childhood memories from his favorite holidays to lessons learned around the dinner table, and even how he won a local badminton tournament in high school, which he discusses in great detail in the chapter.
From there, Nayyar discusses his college experience. He got his Bachelor’s degree from a college in Oregon. He tells his story through various chapters about being an international student and meeting other international students, and his struggle to fit in and assimilate to a new culture. He tells of how he auditioned for a play to meet girls, and his first play led to him wanting to be an actor!
His writing style is very whimsical, witty and sarcastic. However, there were a lot of sentence fragments that I didn’t feel were necessary. They did add to his “voice.” He writes as if he were having a conversation with someone, which allows his writing to be easy to follow and understand. His sarcastic flair is really funny if you catch what is going on (Sheldon would probably struggle with finding this book humorous). In his retrospect, he saw some errors in the way he approached things through his life and is now able to look back and make jokes about these things.
There were moments throughout the book that were tear jerkers as well. Nayyar was able to seamlessly provoke both laughter and tears, sometimes within a page! His descriptions of the scenes and the characters make the reader feel like they were in the scenes with him, allowing them to feel how he felt at any given moment.
One of my favorite aspects of this book, personally, was Nayyar’s experiences of his favorite holidays. These had, and still continue to have, an influence on his life. It is so important that people who are his fans understand these customs that may be different from their own. It is important for any person to understand various cultural customs outside of their own, and including these in his book was a smart move on Kunal’s part. Not only will his fans understand him better, but people in general will be able to learn about a different culture.
This autobiography was one of those books where it is sad when you finish it. It was written in a way that you feel like you are talking with Nayyar, and when it ended, it felt like you were parting ways, not knowing when you would be reunited. The last chapter (other than the Acknowledgements) is sad. It was sad to be finished the book, and Nayyar was sad that the writing process was over.
Overall, this book is very well-written, funny, and easy to read. Nayyar reveals so much that no one knew about him, with a hint of sarcasm about his past mistakes. Nayyar addresses the readers at various points throughout the book, making the book more conversational, like he is talking directly at the readers. It is a wise book filled with so many experiences, especially since he is only in his 30s! This autobiography teaches its readers to not take life too seriously and to laugh at and grow from our mistakes.