Mindy Kaling on The Daily Show


There are no actual questions about her new book on the Halloween night episode of The Daily Show featuring guest Mindy Kaling. But you’ve probably already read excerpts and other slightly more substantive interviews if you’re interested in Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. So sit back and enjoy a six-minute segment (I would embed it here in addition to the audio book excerpt above if WordPress allowed it) in which Kaling and host Jon Stewart joke about Halloween costumes, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and her FOX News-watching, Sanjay Gupta-loving parents.

Kaling also stops by The View this morning at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. PT/C.

Kumail Nanjiani on the Comic Life

You may know comedian Kumail Nanjiani from his standup and TV work (Franklin & Bash) or his brush with John Mayer, all of which have been the subjects of past posts on Sepia Mutiny. If you’re a fan, you’ll want to listen to his recent interview with Shirin Sadeghi of New America Media covering such topics as how he went from studying philosophy and computer science in Iowa to stand-up, the biggest challenge of being a Pakistani American comedian, what he describes as his fading Pakistani accent with a trace of British school, his Twitter presence and his nerdist alterego.

In the beginning of his stand-up career, Nanjiani said the biggest challenge of being a Pakistani American comedian was telling the jokes he wanted to tell about movies, video games and TV shows, and not the jokes he was expected to tell about 7-11 or 9/11. After Nanjiani and his interviewer made reference to what was a new crop of post-9/11 comedians who were South Asian American and Middle Eastern American, the interviewer noted that unlike many of them he has an accent and “does not speak as someone born and raised here.”

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D.C.’s First Drift Elemental

It all started with a Kickstarter campaign months ago. They raised enough money and now it’s finally here. This Friday, Subcontinental Drift  will be hosting D.C.’s very first South Asian hip hop show: Drift Elemental.

The concert will take place at Liv Nightclub, located upstairs at the historic Bohemian Caverns. Doors will open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m. A dance party featuring Drift Elemental’s DJs will follow. … The aim of Drift Elemental is to present South Asian artists in the context of old school hip-hop’s four elements, which include rapping, DJ-ing, graffiti art and breakdancing. The concert will feature acts from Washington, D.C. and New York. [subcontinentaldrift]


The show will be featuring local east coast hip hop artists who I am excited to have on my radar. The first is Navid Azeez other wise known as Navi the Swami, a member of the Whole Damme Delegation.

The second is Baltimore based Koushik Chatterjee, otherwise known as Ko the Timeless. Inspired by his Bengali music performing parents and indoctrinated into hihop with the lyrics of Tribe Called Quest, Ko’s first mixtape The Subway High Life can be downloaded here. Continue reading

It’s Wednesday

No, it’s not Friday. It’s Wednesday!


What would happen if Ice Cube’s Today Was a Good Day took place in the techie days of nowadays? The video stars comedian Hasan Minhaj as the Desi South Bay-esque protagonist. Hasan can also be seen on ABC Family’s State of Georgia and can be heard on his comedy album wittily named Leaning on Expensive Cars and Getting Paid to Do It. Aziz Ansari better watch out now….

Dancing in the Streets, Mumbai Eshtyle

What would happen if a Bollywood Desi boy fell for a Brooklyn Gori girl, all on the streets of Mumbai? (h/t Girish)

Bachna Ae Haseeno (BollyBrook Remix) from Anne Marsen on Vimeo.

Va, va, va….How charming. Reminds me of the story where that white girl in India got married to the rickshaw driver. Remember that story? Not so far from the real life, na?

BollyBrook is short for Bollywood Meets Brooklyn. This unofficial guerrilla music video for Bachna Ae Haseeno (Hindi: बचना ऐ हसीनो) was shot through the streets of Mumbai, India in four days during mid-March 2011. In English, “Bachna Ae Haseeno” means something like “Save yourself, pretty girls.”[bollybrook]

And some words from th actress playing the hipster…

Being white in India, even Mumbai, invites a lot of stares in itself, so for a white person to walk around with an obnoxious attitude and an accessory as impractical as empty frame ray bands was just a hilarious image for me…I also wanted to compare and contrast this with the character of Bollywood Boy. Both characters are obnoxious in their own ways and they find that after they get over themselves that they can develop a genuine connection and friendship with one another. [bollybrook]

Do you like? Is it fun and playful or stereotypes gone wrong? Continue reading

Family Matters: Mr. & Mr. Iyer

In Mr. & Mr. Iyer, based on a story by Lavanya Mohan, a son tells his orthodox Tamil family that he’s going to get married, and they go through four phases of processing the news. That’s about two minutes per phase given that Charukesh Sekar’s short film in English and Tamil is about eight minutes long. (I don’t know Tamil but felt like I could follow along for the most part with the English and with help from the blog post linked above.) Naturally, his family is excited about his decision.

But, there comes the trouble. He has a surprise in store for them. What is the surprise? Will the family accept it? Will they break rules to make their son happy? Will conventional practices and beliefs allow him to get married to another man? Man? (Thamarai)

Via Uncubed. Fans of Goodness Gracious Me may remember a clip from that show that ends on a similar note, with parents seemingly most concerned about a gay child finding a partner of the same background.

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A food-centric monologue from Aziz Ansari’s character Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation may be changing the culinary vernacular forever. Or maybe it’s just a funny bit from last week’s episode.

The video below fills us in on the new food lingo. You know, in case someone asks if you’d like some super water with your long-ass rice and chicky-chicky parm-parm. In the special food vocabulary coined by Tom Haverford, super water isn’t really water, long-ass rice isn’t rice at all and chicky-chicky parm-parm has little or nothing to do with *that *Parm.

If you can’t get enough of those zerts, there’s a site serving up more: TomHaverfoods.com. Continue reading

The Politics of Courting a Community

CBC’s radio program The Current recently examined the politics of courting the so-called ethnic vote in the context of Canada’s current federal elections. The conservative ad embedded above, which opens with historical photos of the Komagata Maru and MP Nina Grewal saying “things haven’t always been fair for us, but the conservatives have always recognized our history…” is one of several ads–liberal and conservative–targeting ethnic voters. Continue reading

Kuzhali Awesome Is the Most Fun Kind of Awesome

Kuzhali Story Image.jpg

Dude, yes, I mean this, and I mean it in a Bill and Ted’s 3 kind of way. Like, totally. Be excellent to each other and READ THIS WRITER, Kuzhali Manickavel. Her writing is like familiar + familiar = delightful strange, and will leave you with the best kind of unsettled in the pit of your stomach.

A long time ago I joined Sepia Mutiny and saw Kuzhali Manickavel’s website (not necessarily in that order, although I think probably). And then I read her blog a lot, and then I laughed and laughed, and sometimes felt like crying, because she is so very funny but in a way that is also sad. And then I became the interim fiction editor of The Michigan Quarterly Review, and got her to give me a fabulous (FABULOUS) story called “The Underground Bird Sanctuary.” And then I got her to e-chat with me for Sepia. Kuzhali Manickavel is the author of a dark, hilarious collection of short fiction called Insects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings, which you should RUN OUT AND BUY BECAUSE OF IT BEING JUST WIZZOW. I do not use CAPS LOCK or WIZZOW lightly. Please do this in an independent bookstore, if you still live in one of the places on earth that has one. And if you don’t, via the Amazon link (above), which will support the Scoobybunkergang in a teeny tiny way.

The story in MQR begins:

Kumar’s bones were pushing up under his skin like silent hills. His ribs rippled up in hardened waves while his shoulders and wrists stood out in knotted clumps. In the afternoons, I would count Kumar’s bones while he tried to sleep. [continued] Continue reading