No Land's Man
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Aasif Mandvi—best known for his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart—has been dealing with identity issues across three continents and 30 years. With wit, smarts, and a good dose of hard-earned perspective, Mandvi explores a range of engrossing stories: dealing with his brunch-obsessed father, being a teenage Michael Jackson impersonator, and playing snake charmers, taxi drivers, and eventually a fake journalist as an actor in New York, where he was even once told that he wasn't "Indian" enough for a role. Now in paperback, No Land's Man is a laugh-out-loud account of a second-generation immigrant's search for meaning and identity in an increasingly confusing world.
back. Once again, she looked away. “Fuck you!” I thought to myself. There are no points in heaven for not smiling at someone. I stared at her reflection in the window as English trees and cottages and farms hurtled across her perfectly shaped nose, her smooth cheeks and her full lips. A small lock of dark brown hair that should have remained hidden peeked out from the edge of her hijab. That soft brush of hair was incredibly erotic. I turned away, embarrassed at my reaction, and found myself
the telly in New York?” he asked “Sometimes,” I said. “My mum doesn’t watch the telly,” he said. “She hates the telly. She says it’s full of lies.” I smiled at her and, just for a moment, she looked up and held my gaze. It was like the sun peeking out from behind a blanket of clouds, but I knew it was a signal. A recognition of the vast insurmountable divide that separated us. A divide called East and West, Tradition and Modernity, Islam and America. Or perhaps she was just letting me know
beans in the trunk of your car that your friends think you might be an over-caffeinated kleptomaniac. Anyway, by the time I got to college, unlike my bohemian theater counterparts, who I assumed had had so much sex already that they found the very talk of it passé, I was still very much a virgin. In fact, I had never even really properly kissed a girl. Being sent by my parents to a British all-boys boarding school at the tender age of thirteen hadn’t helped in this regard, nor had the fact that
commitment, not romance, and love was shown through actions and sacrifice. They each had specific roles. My mother took care of the home and the children while knowing she could run my father’s business better than he could. My father worked and brought home the money while knowing he could cook better than she could. They behaved like partners but rarely like friends. Except for on this particular evening. Having grown up in a family that spent the majority of its time outside of the Indian
of the house we were shooting in front of not to walk out of frame during the scene. He finally instructed the Indian boys on the crew to tie the feet of the chickens together and hold the other end of the string just off camera so they literally could not move. As a result the chickens were furious and clucked so loudly they almost drowned out the actors. Ismail treated the script like a suggestion and every day we would invariably end up shooting scenes that were never written. It confounded