The best crooks don’t get caught. They write tell-all memoirs afterwards.
Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam, older brother of actress Mindy Kaling, committed racial fraud to get into medical school. Yet he did not admit his crimes until after the statute of limitations had long expired. Now Chokal-Ingam is going full frontal with his book Almost Black: The True Story of How I Got into Medical School by Pretending to Be Black.
17 years ago, Chokal-Ingam was a slacker and party animal who barely scraped by in college with a pitifully low 3.1 GPA. Yet like any Indian kid, becoming a doctor was his do-or-die dream. In between fun and games, Chokal-Ingam somehow reached the conclusion that affirmative action was his golden ticket to getting into medical school.
In Almost Black, Chokal-Ingam tells the story of how he scammed his way into medical school by exploiting affirmative action. He shaved his head, trimmed his long Indian eyelashes, embraced his black-sounding middle name Jojo, joined the Organization of Black Students, and checked the box marked “BLACK” on his med school applications. To his immense gratification, Chokal-Ingam hoodwinked 11 American medical schools into interviewing him and miraculously got waitlisted at the country’s third and fourth best medical schools.
While Chokal-Ingam obviously benefited from pretending to be black, he also experienced the trials and tribulations of being an African American. Fellow students ran away from him, cops harassed him, and store clerks accused him of shoplifting. The 22-year-old frat boy never expected that his college prank would turn into a social experiment that unveils harsh realities about racism in this country.
“I lied about my race to get into medical school,” said Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam. “But if you deny that affirmative action is racism, then you are a bigger liar than I will ever be.”
In Almost Black, Chokal-Ingam divulges not just his own deception, but also that of his sister Mindy Kaling and classmate Tucker Max (New York Times bestselling author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell). Unlike the characters they portray in televisions and books, the adjective that Chokal-Ingam will use to describe both Kaling and Max is CONSERVATIVE.
Almost Black is coauthored with Matthew Scott Hansen. As the author of Andy Kaufman Revealed, Hansen is considered one of the foremost experts on Kaufman and his style of humor, which influenced Almost Black.
Almost Black: The True Story of How I Got into Medical School by Pretending to Be Black starts preordering on August 23, 2016 and is available for sale on September 13, 2016. Readers can find the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine booksellers. An audiobook version will also be available on Audible and Apple iTunes store.