Okay. Don’t judge me for reading a book written by a celebrity.
Don’t. I attended the Times Lit Fest at Mumbai where Soha Ali Khan spoke about her book, and I’m blown away by how smartly and confidently she presents herself to the world. Mind you, it’s a big feat to keep your cool when Suhel Seth is interviewing you in front of a packed audience!
The blurb of the book:
What is it like to be known as Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s daughter?
Or to have a mother as famous as Sharmila Tagore?
Or to be recognized as Saif Ali Khan’s sister?
Or as Kareena Kapoor’s sister-in-law?
And where do I stand among them?
Actor Soha Ali Khan’s debut book is at heart a brilliant collection of personal essays where she recounts with self-deprecating humour what it was like growing up in one of the most illustrious families of the country. With never before published photos from her family’s archives, The Perils of Being Moderately Famous takes us through some of the most poignant moments of Soha’s life-from growing up as a modern-day princess and her days at Balliol College to life as a celebrity in the times of social media culture and finding love in the most unlikely of places-all with refreshing candour and wit.
What I liked about this book is the complete ease of reading this book. It took me one and a half hour to complete reading this book, and mind you, the words just flew off the pages and into my head. Some anecdotes from Soha’s life made me chuckle, and some instances made me feel, “Hey, does this mean that princesses also face the same problems that I do?”
What I didn’t like about this book is that I wanted more content. More stories. More inside jokes. More revelations about Soha’s education at Oxford. More snippets about her backpacking around Europe. More details about everyone in her family. And most of all, more info about Soha herself. I felt that this book skimmed the surface about many things, and I do hope Soha plans to write more in the future. I, for one, am a loyal supporter!
I noticed some criticism about this book online, and I’d like to address that. This book reads better than MANY books I’ve read by so-called ‘authors’ who wish to make a living off their writing. Granted, “The Perils of Being Moderately Famous” is no miracle in the world of memoirs and literature, but I’d rather read this book and enjoy the simplicity and grammatical correctness of this book, instead of reading any other book with mediocre to bad writing and nil to negative knowledge of grammar and spelling.
“The Perils of Being Moderately Famous” is a collection of snippets, feelings, lessons learned, some of which are really unique. Imagine being a princess and having someone press your feet every night before you slept. Awesomesauce! But some of the snippets, feelings and lessons learned made me realise that however rich, smart, beautiful you are, some problems are like ‘fixed costs’ in everyone’s life. I hope Soha gets this Economics reference. 😀
Also, Soha, if you’ve reached this part of the blog post (and I’m sure you will), I just wanted to say hi, and let you know a bit more about myself. We’ve met before, at the HDFC Spell Bee 2013 National Finals in Mumbai. (Do you remember me?????) Look at me, a little word nerd from back then, a book reviewer and armchair critic now! And a loyal fan of an actress with a brilliant sense of humour! 😉
I give this book a 4/5 star rating, and recommend it to everyone who would like to know more about the lives of Saifeena, Sharmila Tagore, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Kunal, etc. Because, as Soha notes in the book, that’s the main reason you would buy this book anyway!