Mindy Kaling has found herself at a turning point and Why Not ME? is her ongoing journey to find fulfilment and adventure in her adult life, be it falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in unlikely places, or attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behaviour modification whatsoever.
Now, I’m not sure if you know who Mindy Kaling is or not. But if you don’t know, then let me introduce you: Mindy Kaling is an extraordinary writer, producer, actor and director. You may have come across her in The 40-year-old virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, No Strings Attached and more recently in the animated movie Inside Out.
Yet, her most notable work has got to be on the hit series The Office (US), where she was not only an actor on the show but a writer and producer, not to mention directing several episodes (including Body Language’ and ‘Michael’s last Dundies’). Although it was her show The Mindy Project that solidified my fanship to her. This is the first tv series ever (and since) where the protagonist is an Indian woman. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t appreciate how important representation is in the media (even while belonging to a minority) until I came across this show, and then …it just clicked. I couldn’t look away. In front of me was a woman, with a similar skin tone to me, portraying a Doctor while in reality being the star of the show, the executive producer and the writer. Here was my hero. A woman, who was so successful and confident and sure of herself that she unapologetically named the show after herself. She wasn’t the geeky IT-expert best friend/side kick to the beautiful blond white protagonist, her character was not a box that needed to be crossed off to meet some diversity criteria. Her story is valid, and just as worthy of being told and shared anybody else’s.
Now, you can understand why I picked this book up when I saw it. And it didn’t disappoint. I actually couldn’t put it down and I finished it by the end of the day (or maybe early hours of the morning is more accurate?). It’s not very long, but it was thoroughly entertaining, funny and honest. The reason why The Mindy Project is so addictive is because the humour and story can be so unflinchingly honest, the protagonist is not some self-sacrificing perfect human being but someone who can be selfish, loud, messy. This translates into the book. You can see that Mindy is someone who, to some extent, shares these traits but you can also see that she is someone who knows the value of hard work, friendship and a good laugh.
There was no ‘I’m so blessed and lucky to have all this success’ BS to find here, in its place you find a grateful voice that says ‘I’ve worked to be where I am, and there is no other way to get here’.
That’s not to say that I didn’t find any fault with this book, soon afterwards I also read Tina Fey’s Bossypants and found that they held certain similarities of content; for example, they both contain a beauty regime. But I was fascinated enough to purchase her previous book, Is everyone hanging out without me?
“If you’re readin this, you’re probably a woman. Or perhaps you’re a gay man getting a present for your even gayer friend. Maybe you accidently bought this thinking it was the Malala book. ” Mindy Kaling