I can see those judgey eyes. But here’s the thing. I like Soha Ali Khan. She is one of the underrated actors in our Film industry and when I came to know that she had written a book, I knew I had to read it. Period. The title The Perils of Being Moderately Famous aptly describes what to expect from the book and the blurb is simply bang on! But did it live up to my expectations? Read to know.
The Perils of Being Moderately Famous is a memoir written by an almost well-known Bollywood actor – Soha Ali Khan. She gives an account of her life as the daughter of a famous star (Sharmila Tagore), of having an even famous brother (Saif Ali Khan) and sister-in-law (Kareena Kapoor Khan) and how it is to live the life of a princess (as Masoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s daughter). Soha also writes about her education at Oxford, backpacking adventures around Europe and also on her married life with actor Kunal Khemu.
Review: The Perils of Being Moderately Famous by Soha Ali Khan
The Whoa and Ouch Moments!
First things first. I absolutely loved how Soha had refrained from mentioning Bollywood gossips and tittle-tattles in her memoir. The book is all about her normal life and this would be the reason that you’ll be loving it. When I say normal life, she even mentions the hapless life of a teenager – of having her dad sit next to the only landline in the house and reply grouchily to her friends’ phone calls. Haven’t we all experienced it? Maybe not the new generation! But definitely the 80’s and 90’s kids.
The book begins with an insight into her life as a Pataudi which is nothing short of being a Princess. She describes in detail the glorious tales of her family history. Naturally, I was curious and enlightened at the same time. Many of the facts which were touched upon were entirely new to me. I was astonished to find out that her mother was actually, truly related to ‘the Rabindranath Tagore’. If you know what I mean.
I was bowled over by her sense of humor. She is such a wit. It didn’t take much time for me to smile and chuckle at various intervals of my reading.
‘I wonder if my life is relatable to most. I am, after all, a princess. Now try not to imagine me saying that while stomping my feet in a silver sequinned dressed with a tiara on my head’.
Soha describes her education at Balliol College- the same college that her grandfather, father, and brother went to, Oxford University and London School of Economics. Her strong academic foundation paved way for her dream of having a career in the corporate world.
She fondly recalls how she was on the verge of not able to graduate because of a pair of missing black socks; and how her dad came to her rescue. Though four sizes too big, these black socks made her understand what it was to walk in her father’s
The chapter on her hitchhiking experiences in Paris and Sahara with friends is one of the best sections of the book. Soha also talks about falling in love with Kunal Khemu and her marriage. These two are my favorite.
Soha writes her memoir in an effortless poise. The language is simple, full of wit and extremely entertaining. Her writing style is engaging and exhibits her optimistic view of life.
I would have loved to read a little bit more about everything -mainly her education at Oxford and her choice of movies; my favorite being Tum Mile and Rang de Basanti.
Do I Recommend?
Of course! The Perils of Being Moderately Famous is a light, breezy read. Please don’t compare with the books of other ‘actor-turned authors’. And definitely, don’t pick this book up if you are expecting Bollywood gossip.
4 on 5
Grab the book from Amazon if you’re up for it.
|Details of the Book|
|Title: The Perils of Being Moderately Famous||Publisher: Penguin|
|Author: Soha Ali Khan||ISBN: 9780143439967|
|Genre: Non-Fiction/Biography||No: of Pages: 210|
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are honest, unbiased, and my own. No, I didn’t receive any monetary compensation for the review.
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Sabyasachi Patra says
Interesting read. Great to know that Soha Ali Khan’s book is full of wit and humour. Hopefully in future I can give it a try when I need some light reading.
Arti @ artisdiary says
Brilliant review Shalini! I have always admired Soha Ali Khan, both as an actor and a person, she’s got a certain style, poise and charm that is unique to her own. I am so glad to know you enjoyed the book, would surely love to pick this up sometime.
Kala Ravi says
Sounds like a pretty decent read! I am surprised as to how Soha managed to steer clear of all the tittle-tattle as you put it. Not easy when you consider that kind of stuff would make the book sell better. But she is of a different league altogether so I guess she’s maintained her poise and gone about it the refined way. Great review Shalini!
Ramya Abhinand says
This is one book I have been planning to pick up. I have always found Soha Ali khan to be one effervescent lady. Surely her personality would reflect in her writing. Should be perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon , right?
Kokila Gupta says
First things first. I adore her and have always enjoyed talkshow episodes where she is the guest. The book is already in my ‘to read list’ as I like her clear and crisp way of talking which your post just confirmed, is also in her writing. A nice review post, Shalini.