Malala Yousafzai is 17 years old. She is Pakistani, a survivor of a gunshot wound to the face from the Taliban, and a hero to girls throughout the world. Her first name has become a household word in multiple countries.
Mindy Kaling is an American actress whose parents come from India. She is well-known for her role on the American version of The Office, as well as her own show, The Mindy Project. She is 35.
They both have caramel-colored skin and dark hair. Mindy is no doubt a delightful person, but she is not Malala Yousafzai. But you could’ve fooled that “tipsy man in his 80s” who cornered her at the New Yorker Festival earlier this month.
Kaling was at the event for a live festival Q&A with New Yorker writer Emily Nussbaum. Other celebrities and notable persons interviewed during the Festival included Neil Young, Lena Dunham, Edward Snowden (via video), Bill HAder, Stephen Sondheim, Seth Rogen, Larry David, and Kim Dotcom (also via video).
After the onstage interview at the festival, Kaling headed to an after-event party at the Top of the Standard, a rooftop bar better known as the Boom Boom Room. It was packed with guests like novelist Zadie Smith, writer Malcolm Gladwell and New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick
“Who are all these people?” Kaling wondered at the non-Hollywood crowd she had stumbled into.
Apparently she was a bit difficult to recognize for some of them.
“Congratulations on your Nobel Prize,” the aforementioned “tipsy man in his 80s” told Kaling.
The man seemed amazed at how well Kaling/Malala had recovered form the gunshots to the face she had received at the hands of the Taliban two years earlier.
After a bit more chitchat, during which Kaling never bothered to try to disabuse the poor fellow of his mistaken notion, he swayed off into the room.
“Did he really think I’m Malala?” she said when the man had gone. “And that if I were, I’d be at the Boom Boom Room?
“That’s the best thing that’s happened all night.”