The Day I Met Dev Patel

Alliteration aside, I’ll tell you about the day I met Dev Patel mostly because it was ordinary and extraordinarily funny at the same time. It was at The Lash in Downtown Los Angeles on a Friday night when much mayhem was expected in order to properly bid my dear friend Richard farewell. The place was complete with neon signage, odd-angled tables with cracked glass tops, eclectic beats blaring and a charm that reflected the 90s. Pretty flippin’ cool in a grungy hip way.

We walked past a narrow hallway lined with white tiles and into an open space where we made our way to a slab of cement pushed against the sidewall. We took a seat.

That’s when I spotted a six-foot tall Indian guy from afar huddled with two of his friends near the bar. I was sure he was PJ, my friend’s cousin, so I did what most people do. I asked my wing woman for assistance.

We approached the trio. I smiled and nearly said hello to the slender guy in a navy blue collared shirt when suddenly I stopped in my tracks and had an epiphany.

“That’s not him! It’s Dev Patel. Look,” I pointed to Evelina.

She chuckled and snuck a glance. “Definitely not him. His eyes are shaped differently.”

Was my celebrity radar really that off again? Or was the margarita (or two) to blame for the false alarm? I dismissed the idea, but took one more hard look at the guy and down at his shoes.

“Dev Patel wouldn’t wear these [really] old school Nikes to this place,” I assured myself, “Ev is right.”

So just like that I forgot about the mysterious guy who wasn’t Dev Patel or my friend’s cousin, yet who made me incredibly curious for a few minutes. I headed to the dance floor to enjoy what little was left of Richard’s life in the city.

At half past midnight, when I noticed the trio in close proximity (on the dance floor this time), the thought resurfaced. I sought a second opinion.

“Richard, is that Dev Patel?” I asked casually. He looked at the tall, slender guy and held his gaze.

“The guy from Slumdog Millionaire right?” he asked nonchalantly, “Yup, I think so.”

“I knew it! I had a feeling!” I hugged Richard tighter than I ever had before.

“I bet you guys a hundred bucks that’s not,” Evelina held her ground. If she was willing to put a Benjamin Franklin on the line, we needed to investigate the truth. Someone had to be wrong.

“Richard go ask,” I pleaded, “He won’t think you’re hitting on him.”

After wavering on whether or not to do it, Richard did something I least expected. He and the tall guy exchanged a few words, most of which I couldn’t hear because of the sound in the background. What I saw, however, was the guy shaking his head back and forth vigorously, replying a firm “no” to whatever Richard asked him. Shit, there goes a hundred bucks.

I inched closer to the guys and caught the tail end of their conversation. Ah-hah. I was sure I heard an English accent oozing out of tall guy’s mouth, so without thinking twice, I blurted, “but you have an accent and look just like him…are you Dev Patel?”

He paused. Darn, I shouldn’t have said that.

He smiled. Did I say something endearing?

He nodded. Oh snap, it is him.

He knew I knew. I shook his hand, complimented his performance, and went on my way with Richard and Evelina. Once we neared the end of the narrow hallway, Richard stopped.

“You want to know why he was shaking his head?” he laughed hysterically.

“Why?” I was amused.

“Because I might have said something.”

“Like what? What did you say?”

“You’ll kill me if I tell you,” he continued to laugh.

“Tell me!”

“I asked him if he’s single and told him my Indian friend wanted to know.”

“YOU DID WHAT?” I let out a shriek. Not that I really cared and found it rather hilarious, but I couldn’t believe Richard did that! I’d had my fair share of awkward celebrity brushes, but this had to top the list.

As if that wasn’t enough, the next morning began with an update from Ev.

“Look at this IG pic my friend posted yesterday…they were at her restaurant last night. Must have been before we saw him.”

Ev’s friend stood with Dev Patel on one side, and none other than Freida Pinto on the other.


*This post was previously published on July 15, 2014.

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