â€œIs everyone hanging out without me?â€ sounds more like a concern of Kelly Kapoor, because right now everyone wants to be Mindy Kalingâ€™s best friend. The Dartmouth graduateâ€”and now writer, performer and shopper with 1.5 million plus Twitter followers and a popular blogâ€”charmed viewers with her ditzy girl act and boy-crazy antics on The Office. Now sheâ€™s impressing everyone who didnâ€™t know sheâ€™s also a staff writer and director on the Emmy-winning show.
In her much anticipated debut book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) reveals much of her trotted journey to successâ€”in and out of The Officeâ€”and concerns that occupy her mind. She starts from her innocent conservative childhood to the glory days of college to moving to New York City without a job and discovering she can play the role of Ben Affleck in her own off- broadway production. Not only did I finish the book in two days reading it in bed as Mindy said I would, but I also attempted to write this article in bed like Mindy writes her blog theconcernsofmindykalings.com, or drafts for The Office when at home–but I didnâ€™t have the same restraint from napping as she apparently does. So I ended up at a Barnes & Noble, nursing one cup of coffee until I finished (also, Mindyâ€™s recommendation).
Thatâ€™s exactly what makes Mindy different. Revealing her unorthodox work habits, bad eating habits and cluttered office spaces; she makes claims like for every eight hours of work, she only has one hour of productivity. Maybe itâ€™s exaggeration (because itâ€™s cool to downplay genuineness, hard work and structure) or maybe itâ€™s humble honesty. Either way, Mindy provides refreshing proof that not all successful women are type A, size 2, and â€œI Have My Life Together All The Timeâ€ women. Mindy makes â€œIâ€™m a Messâ€ glamorous. I donâ€™t know about you, but it makes me feel better about the organized chaos in my own bedroom.
Mindy shares stories from her young life, including childhood bullies, unrequited loves, bad days at the officeâ€¦moments of the tearsâ€¦moments of the rage. There are also moments when she holds back. She discusses the adversaries of being a regular size American woman, but doesnâ€™t address the barriers of being a South Asian woman (perhaps because if you really are talented, with hard work youâ€™ll make it despite cultural stereotypes). I wanted to know more about her relationship with her brother Vijay rather than the comedies of Irish Exits and Jewish Guys. Her fall-out with her high school girl posse seems too emotionally clean and her supportive immigrant parents seem all too supportive. However, in other times, sheâ€™s so vulnerable and raw, as if itâ€™s an accident. In between being funny and writing a memoir, she exposes sentimental moments that are not ironic at all.
Even though sheâ€™s the funny girl, she often makes disclaimers before poking fun and ends up giving sappy, heartfelt advice; like you should enjoy spending time with your family when you are in high school, because â€œyou only get 18 years to live with your family full-time, and thatâ€™s it,â€ and she hatesâ€œdepressing zeitgesty magazine articles about relationships,â€ because she says, â€œFewer and fewer people are believing itâ€™s not cool to want what I want, which is to be married and have kids and love each other in a monogamous, long-lasting relationship.â€ She really is a Charlotte! Somehow, we expect the funny girl, the groundbreaking woman in the workforce, the unorthodox desi girl making it in the western world, to throw down the institution of marriage and look down upon hopeless romantics, but here, we have a girl still into traditions. She also says her parentâ€™s marriage is a success because they are pals. Brilliant.
Being only 32 years-old, she makes you wonder: How old do you have to beâ€“to have seen enough life, experience enough career success and gain just the right amount of fame (according to Mindy, of course)â€”to write a memoir and give valuable advice to the young? Her concerns are insightful, funny, and often ones that weâ€™ve all pondered before. For example, hooking-up is confusing! Your best friend does have certain rights and responsibilities! Romantic comedies are unrealistic, but we love them anyway! She dots the book with references to mainstream and current pop culture, namedropping the best of last summer’s reads and movies (Tina Feyâ€™s Bossypants and Bridesmaids, duh!).
Mindy is the self-proclaimed boy-crazy, an online shopper who memorizes her credit card numbers, and a young professional in Hollywood with traditional values. She’s redefining what it takes to make it in the wildly competitive industry. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is part life experiences, part opinionated lists, and wholly engaging, smart writing that reads like your best friendâ€™s blog. By the end of reading Mindyâ€™s book, you get a whole new perspective on the modern day successful woman, all her concerns discussed, and multiple laugh-out-loud moments.
Have you read Mindyâ€™s book? What do you think?
â€” TASHWEEN ALI