“We’re very private,” the Big Bang Theory star, 34, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
So when the time came to write his new book of essays, Yes, My Accent Is Real, Nayyar says he set out to tell his “underdog story” about growing up in India, moving to the U.S. and making it on a top-rated sitcom.
The new book does have plenty of childhood anecdotes and tidbits of his life on Big Bang, but ultimately Nayyar felt the story of “how this nerdy guy came to marry a beautiful former Miss India” was too good to leave out.
” ‘She’s an ex-Miss India. You need to meet her,’ said my cousin,” the actor writes in his new book of being set up with Neha while home in New Delhi for Christmas in 2008. ” ‘Ex? Can’t you introduce me to the current one?’ I joked.’ ”
After a week of failed attempts to get together, Nayyar says he finally met his future wife at the opening of a bar.
“We talked about our childhoods in New Delhi. Gradually, I think she could tell I was not a creep and she began to open up,” continues Nayyar, who wed Neha in a week-long wedding in 2011. “There was something beautiful about the rawness of her emotion. I had known her for two hours, and I was getting hooked.”
For more from Kunal Nayyar – including an excerpt from Yes, My Accent Is Real – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
RELATED VIDEO: The Big Bang Theory‘s Simon Helberg: I Don’t See Dead People, but a Date of Mine Once Did
The Big Bang Theory returns Sept. 21 to CBS.