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How to get cozy with authors at lit fest

books Updated: Jan 22, 2012 08:27 IST
Sonakshi Babbar, Hindustan Times
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When Ms. Khanna from Mumbai returned with a glass of wine from Sula Wine, she had to rub her eyes to believe what she saw - her buddy, Ms. Singhania, was clinking her glass with Dalrymple. If you too empathize with her and are going green with jealousy to see the lucky few hobnobbing with the authors, here're a few tricks straight from Houdini's magic cauldron.

Gupshup over gol-guppas

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and the way to an author's heart and precious company is yes you guessed it - is food! So, the next time you're in the queue for lunch and look over your shoulder to find some literary figure behind you. Slow down. Dwell over each helping, remark about the quality of the food, engage them over the banalities of gluttony, chances are they will seek your help in selecting the right dish and not get aghast when you surreptitiously pull out the chair to share their table. This especially works in the case of naïve firang authors - most common species at the festival.

Bootlicking the book

Writers are God's gifts to mankind, but they usually have a weak-spot - the writer's ego. An author's ego has a life of its own; his mind might say no, but the ego loves a compliment or too. But don't forget the golden rule - never act like a schoolgirl drooling over Stephanie Meyer - 'I loveee your books'. No. Do it gently. Make an intelligent, yet subtle observation about the book. Once the fish is trapped, you can cut the charade and come down to banalities of daily life.

Light my fire

After a rigorous session, most authors quietly seek out a spot to puff in peace. Generally, authors are the forgetful type, they rarely care to carry a lighter or a matchbox. The moment you spot one putting a the cigarette to his lips, bring out your precious lighter. Delighted, the author won't think twice before honoring you with smile or in exceptional cases a chat. So before you enter the palace, do stock up on your Zippos.

Crap comrades

Whether you're a world-renowned author or just a lit-fest regular, when nature call, it's off to the common loo. Keep you hawk eyes fixed on any author, who is listlessly looking around or anyone who has a constipated smile plastered on their face. One out of five, they're waiting to dash out of the admiring mob to the nearest Les Cabinets. This is when you - the knight in shining armor - steps in to guide him/her to the washroom. Once relieved, the author will be obliged to you and wouldn't mind your tagging along with him for at least enough time for others to notice you with them.

Caution: Please try at own risk