Author: Kunal Nayyar
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Format: Kindle eBook
My words: Boy, you never had a dull moment, did you Kunal? A year out of your life is equal to 10 of mine. And we are of the same age! (Oh just believe me!)
I’ll be honest. I bought the book only because I like the character Raj on Big bang (so, that paid off quiet well! Congratulations!)….and also because Kunal is actually funny when he appears on talk shows. And the fact that he is an Indian like I am doesn’t really cut it. Not really. I don’t go buying books written by every Indian author. Or it really did cut it..maybe a little. The point is, I loved the book.
Reading the book was like going through a kaleidoscope of events while randomly choosing some to dig a little deeper, feel the before and after emotions. I like the fact that Kunal has not portrayed the book as a memoir or an inspiring life story. Or the story of an underdog.. nor is it portrayed as a story of a guy who has had to face obstacles and difficult hardships in life to achieve what he has. No. And yet, I liked the book. Very much so. Why? Because of what I take away from the selective excerpts from his life that are presented in this book. It’s the story of just another guy – a common man just like you or me – that is the unique thing about the book and of course his journey towards being a not-so-common man. His life experiences are just like ours and hold your attention till the end like it was you living them; with an extra spice of humour added in just the right proportions. He has included personal stories that you can relate to in the most natural way. The story about his dad in “Dinners with Dad” and the one about his connection with his brother were heart touching.
What I found endearing in Kunal’s story is the process in which he has evolved over time by virtue of his experiences and relationships in life. So essentially, he does not just lay around his stories, the events of his life for the reader to draw conclusions from. He takes amazing initiatives to put forth his
thoughts on the matter then and his thoughts on the matter now. He doesn’t always come across looking good, he’s quick to point out his own shortcomings and how he’s trying to be a better person following that. And that’s all one can vie to be in life – a better person. By pointing out his immature reaction on being constantly rejected for the lead part and how he channelised his inner demons into a ‘carpe diem’ moment just emphasises the evolving part. And one can surely respect someone who
can admit to all the crap that one does in life and moves on by accepting and correcting his way through all that.
Another plus point of the book is that Kunal has a unique way of storytelling interjected with witty one liners which make you crackle as you read. The book does have wisecracks splattered through the pages, but it surely doesn’t make the book a literary achievement in humour writing. But this manner of not forcing the humour or sarcasm into the book worked very well for me. The language used in this book is a simple, down-to-earth with easy narration that just make me feel satisfied that he is not trying to oversell himself. He is just being himself. He is just placing himself as he is all with triumphs and errs. That takes courage. Also, what is courageous is that he has a great self-deprecating sense of humor. It is not very easy to pull off and sometimes can be very off-putting. However, Kunal carries it off with aplomb and comes across as a very evolved person. Behind the character of a guy with selective mutism is actually a person who is kind, warm, romantic, intellectual and sometimes even the boy next door. A boy next door with incredible sensibilities and considerate enough to be a close friend. (In fact, I think he won’t mind one more rakhi to his 19 😉 )
A simple book by a simple guy with a simple message.