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2008 was all about China China China, but 2009 is shaping up to be South Asia’s year. Between the total Oscar dominasian of Slumdog, to the rise and FAIL of Indian-Americans in politics–Bobby Jindal FAIL, Sanjay Gupta FAIL, and Vivek Kundra, who was today named Federal Chief Information Officer, FTW–to M.I.A. popping out her mixtape-making baby right after her upstaging-turn at the Grammys, to the crazazy shit going down between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, to Citi CEO Vikram Pandit becoming the sad face on the precipitous decline of Wall Street, to Freida Pinto becoming a fashion icon and Woody Allen’s muse, good and godawful, Desis are here like paneer, and you betta get used to it.
My favorite Desi success story so far, however, has got to be that of American Idol contestant, Anoop Desai. Anoop, aka “Anoop Dawg,” is the definition of dorklicious, an a cappella-singing group nerd –something our pal Angry Asian Man predicted in private conversation before it became a well-known fact–a normal dude who’s longer on goofy charisma than talent but was nevertheless brought back by the Idol judges to contend tonight for one of the 3 remaining wild-card spots on the show.
I really can’t explain Anoop’s appeal–although j’adore the fact that he wrote his college thesis on the importance of barbecue in the South–but, if the stars continue to align as they have, this guy’s a lock for the Top 12.
Congratulasians to Bobby Jindal, who was elected Governor of Louisiana over the weekend, making him the first non-white governor of the state since the 1970′s, the first South Asian governor ever, and the youngest person to currently hold that post in the U.S.
Governor Jindal’s story is classic first-generation. His parents immigrated from Punjab, his father was an engineer, his mother a nuclear physicist, and they settled in Baton Rouge, where Bobby, née Piyush, came up with his Anglo name from watching The Brady Bunch. He later went on to become a Rhodes Scholar and was elected to Congress in 2004.
The downside? Governor Jindal’s a Republican. He believes in Jesus and drilling the shit out of Alaska for oil but not stem-cell research or choice.
Kinda puts a crimp in this celebrasian.