1. What gave you the idea of penning “Polite Pickup lines in Indian Pubs”?
I have been a blogger since 2011. Initially, the need to express my views about movies inspired me to write movie reviews. The love for Roger Federer & Tennis inspired me to write about Tennis. The expertise I gained about the pubs in Gurgaon and the need to share them with those struggling to have a good time inspired me to write pub reviews.
Above all, The Universe and my very good friend & mentor Binoy inspired me to write my first book. In fact, it was Binoy who jokingly said one day while in a pub, “You have made so many new friends in pubs that you could probably write a book on it!” I caught on to that idea. I met Binoy too in a pub!
2. There are many people who do not know how to talk to people of opposite gender, what, according to you, might be the reason for this?
I used to be an introvert till 2012, very shy to speak to men, leave alone speaking to women. I overcame my worst fears eventually by making good friends. I hung out with my friends initially but then I had to move to Gurgaon for work in 2014. I was pleasantly surprised by the social nature of fellow pub goers. I could approach fellow pub goers and instantly make new friends. This gave me more confidence to keep increasing my network. Eventually, I made my own wolf pack who started making plans with me and started hanging out with me regularly.
When it comes to speaking to women, men tend to get too nervous if they think too far and want to propose to that girl they just saw 5 mins ago. This may work in movies but not in real life.
Eventually, I figured out one thing. When it comes to speaking to women, men tend to get too nervous if they think too far and want to propose to that girl they just saw 5 mins ago. This may work in movies but not in real life. In reality when you like a woman and want to talk to her, just muster the guts to walk up to her and then talk casually. Keep it light, funny and interesting. If you practice this, magic is bound to happen.
3. The book deals with, not just dating, but also making good friends. So, why did you choose to focus just on pubs?
Pubs are places where everyone can unwind. There is no bias as such and there are no boundaries in pubs. However, it does not mean one can do anything in a pub and get away with it. Given this, my book works more in pubs. However, it works in any other social hangout set up like friend’s wedding, social dinners, house parties, beach parties etc. In fact, it could work in a coffee shop or on an airplane or in an elevator. But quick thinking is needed!
4. What is it that you wish your readers to get out of it?
I saw a world without strangers especially in a social scenario like pubs. Through my book, I want to equip my readers with same skills to make friends easily in an informal setup wherever they go.
5. How did you finalize what are the topics that you want to include in the book?
I jotted down most of the tips in my book by looking at the contacts section in my phone. For example, if there was a person who I met in mid-2014 in a pub, I would try to recall how I approached this person and how did I get her number. That approach will become an example for a tip.
6. Any interesting anecdote that you came across when you were writing this book?
Never chase a person whom you could not start a successful first conversation with!
Never ask a woman same question twice!
7. Are you a reader, if yes, what are your favorite books?
I have read very few books in my life. Started off with “The Alchemist” and after a while read “The White Tiger”. “Atlas shrugged” took a long time to complete. I am more of a visual person and learn a lot from watching movies and observing people. I am a staunch follower of “The Secret” too but I watched the video instead to understand it.
8. So, what next?
I plan to write about conversation starters and networking in a more formal setup. Let’s see how it goes.
I also want to do different things like promoting Tennis in India. Own a pub someday. Produce a movie or a music album. Let’s see what all I can do.
9. How can the readers get in touch with you?
I would love to interact with my readers through e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org); else they could ping me on Facebook/ Twitter (Varun Mannava)