‘The Perils of Being Moderately Famous’ by Soha Ali Khan #ABookAWeek

Being born in an illustrious family may come with its share of perks, but as actor-turned-author Soha Ali Khan puts it, there are perils too. Why not? Who says those born with privileges don’t have issues to deal with. And sometimes these problems are much deeper. Soha, however, seems to have addressed her troubles rather wittingly and comes out as a true winner in this delightful read.

The Perils of Being Moderately Famous is a sharp account of experiences from the author’s life; as she talks about her relationship with her famous family, takes us through her college, work, love and motherhood journey.

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This book isn’t your regular celebrity memoir. Soha declares right in the beginning that this book isn’t going to suffice your hunger for information about her famous brother Saif Ali Khan or sister-in-law Kareena Kapoor Khan. She makes it clear that the book is about her. And that is what makes it worth the read.

FINDING YOUR IDENTITY

The chapters in the book, especially about her parents Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore, and her relationship with her actor husband Kunal Khemu were the highlight for me. Even though she had big shoes to fill, Soha continues to maintain her individuality, even as a writer. As you read the chapters, you realize that she is comfortable being part of a famous family, where she is still not as recognized as the others. But what stands out the most is her ability to talk about it with much humor and acceptance.  

Talking about her husband she writes, “Ours was a courtship dance of nine months with my brain telling me he didn’t check all the boxes but my heart rejoicing every time I was in his company.” It’s beautiful how she knows it was a matter of love and nothing beyond. She even confesses how she knew he wasn’t perfect and says there is no such thing as a perfect guy in the first place.

Through Soha’s clear memories, we learn about the life her parents lived, the rich culture and fame that surrounded them and of course her relationship with them. But again, she talks about them as her parents, not just famous people. Soha also mentions some interesting people who have influenced her life, and been an important part of it. You see how her adventures with her friend Tom and the life-long lessons she learned from Mrs Narula reflect in her fun and forthright personality.

A POSITIVE TAKE ON LIFE

As I read the book, I wondered how she must have really felt every time someone pointed out to her as a famous celeb’s sister, daughter or sister-in-law. It made me realize that even if you are talented and are born in a notable family, there is a constant baggage. It is upon you however, whether to carry it or accept and let go. Soha did just that and managed her way into a world full of lights and constant glaring.

‘Life is just better when you’re laughing’, she captions one of the many rare pictures featured in the book. Well, it surely is beautiful when there is laughter in life, and those who have the ability to laugh at themselves freely, make it amazing too.

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