Saturday, November 28, 2015

Read Review: Yes, My Accent Is Real

Yes, My Accent Is Real by
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 18th 2015 by Simon & Schuster (first published September 15th 2015) 

How did I get it? I bought it.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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 am a 'Big Bang Theory' fan. And so I decided to read this book. When I was reading it, it was actually Raj's voice who was narrating it in my head.

The book is a no literary feat but a light read. The author has narrated pieces of his life.And it was actually like as if he is narrating the story verbally. The writing style is such.  It is not a laugh riot either but it will make you chuckle at many places. I liked the author's dad's life lessons the best. I also enjoyed the chapter about his badminton playing phase.

Overall a refreshing read.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Read Review: Delhi Is Not Far

Delhi Is Not Far by
Paperback, 111 pages
Published November 2005 by Penguin (first published October 26th 2005) 

How did I get it? I bought it.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
In dull and dusty Pipalnagar, each day is like another, and 'there is not exactly despair, but resignation'. Even the dreams here are small: if he ever makes it to Delhi, Deep Chand, the barber, will open a more up-to-date salon where he might, perhaps, give the Prime Minister a haircut; Pitamber will trade his cycle-rickshaw for the less demanding scooter-rickshaw; Aziz will be happy with a junk-shop in Chandni Chowk. None, of course, will make that journey to Delhi. Adrift among them, the narrator, Arun, a struggling writer of detective novels in Urdu, waits for inspiration to write a blockbuster. One day he will pack his meagre belongings and take the express train out of Pipalnagar. Meanwhile, he seeks reassurance in love, and finds it in unusual places: with the young prostitute Kamla, wise beyond her years; and the orphan Suraj, homeless and an epileptic, yet surprisingly optimistic about the future.
Few authors write with greater sensitivity and skill about little India than Ruskin Bond. Delhi Is Not Far is a memorable story about small lives, with all the hallmarks of classic Ruskin Bond prose: nostalgia, charm, underplayed humour and quiet wisdom.
Of course it's a classic. It's amazing how the author  describes the ordinary things and nuances of ordinary people in a extraordinary way. As described in the blurb above, Arun is the narrator and the story is more about the town Pipalnagar rather than any specific characters. And of course, the characters along with it's climate and environment make up Pipalnagar. And more so, it is about the bond between Arun and Suraj. It is a simple story in a style which is simply beautiful.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Read Review: Mrs. Funnybones

Mrs. Funnybones by
Paperback, First, paperback, 248 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Penguin Books India

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Good morning, it’s 6 a.m. and I am wide awake because the man of the house has decided that he needs to perform a series of complex manoeuvres that involve him balancing on his left elbow. When I fell asleep last night, there was a baby lying next to me. Her smelly diaper is still wedged on my head but aside from this rather damp clue, I can't seem to find her anywhere. I could ask my mother-in-law if she has seen the baby, but she may just tell me that I need to fast on alternate Mondays, and God will deliver the baby back to me . . . 
Full of wit and delicious observations, Mrs Funnybones captures the life of the modern Indian woman—a woman who organizes dinner each evening, even as she goes to work all day, who runs her own life but has to listen to her Mummyji, who worries about her weight and the state of the country. Based on Twinkle Khanna’s super-hit column, Mrs Funnybones marks the debut of one of our funniest, most original voices.
When Twinkle Khanna's column started making the rounds, I was kind of surprised because I didn't have the slightest idea that she writes or that she is sarcastically funny.Then I saw that my books-crazy friends are reading and liking it, I put it in my TBR.

In the book, the author is a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law and a mother. And so it was very easy to relate to.  It also takes on some absurd incidents that takes place in our country. Like when her husband Akshay Kumar was doing a ramp show to launch a new brand of jeans and he invited her onstage to unbutton the jeans he was wearing, some social activists' group lodged a complaint against her for indecent public behaviour! I loved her eccentric mother and mummyji in her narrations.

The book is not extraordinary but it's definitely refreshing. The author is sarcastic, blunt and makes her point. I felt there is a bit of me in it too. Just like the book's tagline goes, "She's just like you. And a lot like me". It's a light read but with a few serious connotations too. I would definitely like to read more of Twinkle Khanna.