Anoop Desai on American Idol... Dev Patel in Slumdog Millionaire... that really funny dead-pan dude on Parks and Recreation. Is this just a fluke, or is something bigger going on...? Pop culture is filled with hipster Indian dudes right now...
To find out what's up, I checked in with my dear friend and one of the coolest guys I know, Nihar Patel.
Q: So Nihar, what do you think? Are Indian guys the coolest thing since Twitter?
A: Alex, where have you been? Indian guys have always been cool. First there was Gandhi, then that other guy, what's his name... you know who I'm talking about. No seriously, I wish I knew why. We're this year's mixed race Presidential candidate I guess. A few years ago I joked that when one of the Sex and the City characters hooked up with an Indian guy, that week I'd do great with the ladies. It never happened, but this is almost as good. I think NBC has a rule: you can't have a show on their network unless there's an Indian on it.
Q: Good point, Nihar! And of course there's Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, or does he count?
A: Oh you mean Cousin Piyush, yeah he's always up to something. Bobby Jindal is the kind of Indian that Indian parents are really proud of, but the kids of those parents not so much. Suddenly he's the enemy because he's the consummate overachiever, and we always get compared to him. "Hey mom, dad, I just got elected to the school board. Oh well Bobby Jindal was head of the PTA at 16. What? How is that possible?!" And then it turns out he was, and we feel even worse.
Q: So I reckon Sanjay Gupta is a sore spot too...
A: No, he married a white woman, so the Gupta factor has been neutralized.
Q: And what about Mr. Parks and Recreation, Aziz Ansari - I understand you had a recent run-in with him...?
A: Ha, yeah, I was having my 30th birthday party at a bar, and he happened to be there. One of my friends introduced herself to him, because she thought he was my brother, which probably pissed him off. Maybe because he realized he wasn't my brother, I don't know. My real brother was indifferent to the whole situation, as expected.
Q: I believe there was also an incident in the bathroom, no...?
A: Just side by side urination and awkward banter. Just like talking to my dad at a ballgame.
Q: So... in your book who's the coolest of the Cool Indian Guys? And is there someone out there the American public hasn't taken note of yet, but should?
A: Well I'd say myself, that would be A) be egotistical and B) a lie. America, take note. Don't know about Indian guys, but I would say Mindy Kaling, who is not a man but is still very cool, should be in more stuff. She plays Kelly Kapoor on The Office, and she's hilarious on that show.
And my brother, who shares my DNA and a similar sense of humor as me. Watch for him, because both of us will be twirling signs on the sidewalk for Westside Rental someday, and now you can say you heard about us before we made it big.
Nihar Patel used to work with me on Day to Day. And I agree, Mindy Kaling ROCKS!