An amiable collection of reminiscences by the Indian actor about girls, school, jobs, family, and acting.
Though Nayyar is best (or even only) known for his comic role in the television series The Big Bang Theory, this book debut isn’t a collection of extended bits and sketches, like so many by comedians are. The author doesn’t try too hard to be funny, which is part of his charm. Nayyar admits from the outset that he hasn’t lived long enough or accomplished enough to justify a memoir: “I’m not a president, or an astronaut, or a Kardashian. This is a collection of stories from my life.” Its target readership is fans of the series and his geeky character featured on it, but its conversational tone will also appeal to anyone who wants to read about a regular guy, Indian style. Even there, his life was saturated with American media, as reflected in the opening essay, “Everything I Know About Kissing I Learned from Winnie Cooper,” which tells how watching The Wonder Years and becoming infatuated with its young actress while growing up prepared him for his own first kiss and how life came full circle when his acting career gave him the chance to kiss the real actress. When he pursued his education in America, he initially majored in business and planned a marketing career, though he dabbled in acting in order to meet girls. As the author tells it, his romantic life existed mainly in his head, though his first real girlfriend was an acting student who was the love of the campus, and his marriage to a former Miss India ends the book. Yes, Nayyar’s been a lucky guy whose first real audition resulted in the big break that brought him to TV and resulted in this book, but his explanation reflects his experience: “Every person has a different journey. But no one has an easy one.”
Nice guy; nice book.