Gosh! What a read!
I have always been curious about the idol life in South Korea, because I know they are made to work a little too hard. The successful idols are not only versed in dance and singing, they get to learn multiple languages and stuff, and I always wonder where they find time for all the extra things apart from training the whole day. Some of them are big gamers, some know whole lot of musical instruments, some are trained in multiple languages, some are amazing cooks etc. etc. And I always always admire them for all these skills they have. Of course, they have acquired those skills with hard work.
So anyway, I was actually looking for some of my favorite idols’ and actors’ pics to put as my desktop wallpaper and I stumbled upon the fact that Zhang Yixing aka Lay of EXO has written an autobiography in 2015. And all hail the multilingual fans, some of them have actually translated the whole book of 91 pages for people like us who cannot read Chinese. Well, it was just 91 pages, how long could it take to read anyway? But the emotional roller coaster it took me on, was beyond expected. I haven’t read many autobiographies to be honest, so I am not sure how they really work.
But this one, I say roller coaster because it was so relatable, not just in the terms of how Asian parents generally are, nor how there is a competition among your peers since your childhood, but everything. From his desire to find what was right for him, from his fears about being in another country without any help, from jealousy and concerns about his peers being better than him to his regrets of not being able to do much for his parents, every single thing struck a chord with feelings inside my heart.
As a review, I would just say, it’s worth a read, not because as a fan one should but because he made it big in life, and he was just 24 when he wrote the book. A whole bunch of 24 year old would find a bit inspiration and a way out to their feelings, if they’re not able to express them well. I actually went through my whole 24 years of life while reading the book (*cue: flashback again*). The structure of book is a bit weird, probably some things are lost in translation. A few things would not make sense, again probably due to language differences. Although, most of the things are chronologically listed, he still jumps from one incident to another which might put off some people. It’s just like reading a person’s personal diary, really. It feels like he’s talking to the reader. And some of the things he says are too profound.
What I took from the book? That he is far more intelligent than he is able to show on TV. It shows his humility as well. Everyone knows Lay as a dork, especially from “Go! Fighting” but as he rightly says, anyone would be like that before the super seniors he worked with in the show. His craving for learning stuff is at another level. I have a new found respect for him, not that I did not respect him earlier.
The book also gives a sneak peek into SM’s training regime. Well, don’t know how much to trust him on it, but it sounded about right.
What touched me the most was the last part, where he tells about his mother. I could really picture my parents there. Having sacrificed everything for me and my sister, they just worry about us. Even a slight scratch to us pains them. And here we are, we haven’t really done anything for them till now. The one sentence, that pinched me the most was “The first thing she asks me is not how my day went but if I have eaten and slept well.” I am pretty sure most of the parents are the same. Mine also don’t ask about my studies or anything, that’s one of the last worries they have. All they are concerned about is my health and well-being. Shucks, something went into my eyes, aaarggghh…
And since it’s just 91 pages, it won’t take much of your time. So go and google and you’ll find the first link is to the fan translation (The translators don’t want to distribute their work without credits and I am not sure if posting the link here would be just. It’s really easy to find though, so while it is still out there, do give it a try!) And if you are able to read Chinese and can buy his book, please do so!
P.S.: Is it just me or there is a resemblance between Baekhyun and Ji Chang Wook? Btw, I am only following Lay in all EXO songs these days 😐
Today’s song: Obviously Lay’s song: