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Mindy Kaling- The NEW FACE OF INDIAN AMERICAN ON AMERICAN tv

(Photo Credit:Screenshot, The Mindy Project) 

Mindy Kaling's Facebook page info simply states- 'Mindy Kaling is an actress, comedian, writer, producer & shopper. She can translate Latin & is an avid slow jogger who covers small amounts of distances.' However, we know that Mindy Kaling is so much more. She is smart, she is intelligent, she speaks her mind, she knows what she wants and she is everywhere. She is the new face of Indian American face on mainstream US TV. 

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(Photo Credit: From Mindy's Facebook page) 

(Photo Credit: From Mindy's Facebook page. Mindy shared this picture when Fox announced more episodes in the comedy's third season ) 

Mindy Kaling was born on June 24, 1979 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA as Vera Chokalingam to immigrant parents originally from India (Tamil father and Bengali mother) . Her mom gave her the name Mindy as her middle name, a name that was inspired from the show, 'Mork and Mindy' (1978-1982), the name she eventually chose to go by. Her mother was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and later passed away. 
Mindy Kaling Book

(Photo Credit: Amazon's Mindy Kaling page

Mindy first came to be known for her role as Kelly Kapoor in 'The Office' (2015-2013) TV series. Not many know that Mindy was the first female writer of 'The Office' writing staff when she began there at age 24. Mindy Kaling became a household name soon after her show, 'The Mindy Project' premiered on FOX on September 25th 2012. The show is produced by Mindy herself and she stars in the lead role in the show, playing a gynecologist. Her mother was an ob-gyn doctor, inspiring many of the story lines in the show.The series is co-produced by Universal Television. She co-wrote the acclaimed play "Matt and Ben", a comedy about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, also playing the role of Ben. She has also authored a book, 'Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)' which is essentially about her life and her opinions- on anything and everything, well, most things ... of relevance. 

In an interview published in the Rolling Stone, when asked if she ever gets embarrassed to point out gender bias, Mindy's reply is candid and insightful. She replies, "More than half the questions I am asked are about the politics of the way I look. What it feels like to be not skinny/dark-skinned/a minority/not conventionally pretty/female/etc. It's not very interesting to me, but I know it's interesting to people reading an interview. Sometimes I get jealous of white male showrunners when 90 percent of their questions are about characters, story structure, creative inspiration, or, hell, even the business of getting a show on the air. Because as a result the interview of me reads like I'm interested only in talking about my outward appearance and the politics of being a minority and how I fit into Hollywood, blah blah blah. I want to shout, "Those were the only questions they asked!" When asked what inspires her about other women, among various other points, she says, "I love women who love sex and can write about it in thoughtful, creative ways that don't exploit them, as many other people will use sex to exploit them. I love women who know how to wear menswear." 

We Say .. 

Indian American faces are slowly and steadfastly becoming a part of American television. There's The Big Bang Theory's Rajesh Koothrappali played by Kunal Nayyar, even though he is shown in a sterotypical role, complete with an the Indian accent. There are others in a more mainstream roles. There's Archie Panjabi in The Good Wife, Reshma Shetty in Royal Pains, the gorgeous Hannah Simone as Cece in New Girl and reality television star Padma Lakshmi of Top Chef. All of these Indian Americans do us proud too. However, Mindy Kaling is the first Indian American to play a central character in an all American comedy show. Not only does she play the lead part, she is the producer and the writer of the show as well. She represents the face of Indian Americans today. Her show, The Mindy Project, is a show that mothers love watching with their young 17+ daughters here in America. She paves the way for the coming generations to follow their dreams and trust their talent. The example she sets has greater significance also because she breaks the stereotype of the 'exotic' Indian woman with long black cascading hair. She has created American television history alright. 

Watching her show, her interviews (she recently appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O' Brian), you can tell that here is an utterly confident woman who looks at herself in the mirror and sees the person that she is inside. You can see that she does not see herself just as a brown woman in a country of predominantly white people. She does not see herself merely as a minority in her country. She sees herself exactly as she portrays herself- an actress, comedian, writer, producer and most importantly, a woman who  believes in herself.

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