Friday, February 10, 2012

how to prepare for Karachi Literature Festival: ten steps

Karachi Literature Festival is happening. Yes, it is. You really should go.

10. Get mentally and physically ready to keep tabs on Kamila Shamsie. Bonus points for tracking her when she's not in the same hall as yourself. If you're a boss she will not know you're stalking her. If confronted, explain that if she were in Karachi more often there wouldn't be a need to check where she is because there would be no novelty in doing so. Also cite her accent as a reason.

9. Practice nonchalance. "Ohhhhh, you're Vikram Seth? I might've heard of you. Here, want a Cadbury?"

8. Get your best friggin running shoes out. I am not kidding. Heels or uncomfortable shoes are no good. You think you're at a lawn exhibition? THERE IS NO MERCY. PEOPLE MOB THE HELL OUT OF AUTHORS AND YOU BETTER BE PREPARED TO MOB OR PREPARED TO DIE.

7. Change your stance on young, excited girls (I don't want to target girls specifically, but do boys read? I don't see many of them) from 'they're irritating' to 'oh how cute, they're mobbing Mohsin Hamid, that means they read his book!'

6. Forget kittens. The number of uncles and aunties at the event will give you a cuteness overload.

5. Which reminds me: cute uncles and aunties are either your best friends or your worst enemies. If I ever write a book I think I should write it for them because if they're happy, everyone's happy.

4. Get food. Carlton food sucks. Get food from somewhere or you will die. Well, maybe not, but still. You'll run low on MobEnergy and then who will get your autographs for you? Who?? Not even your best friend.

3. Expect nobody you know to come, because less than 1% of the people you know will. But also be ready to reconsider your opinions of the ones who do show up. These are the awesomest people in your life.

2. Swear to god, do NOT give anybody your books, ever. I do not know where my A Suitable Boy is because I gave it to somebody. Which reminds me, I asked my mother "Have you seen A Suitable Boy?" then I heard myself and laughed.

1. Have fun. This only happens once a year, unfortunately. But also be prepared to attend at least one session that you aren't very interested in. It might turn out really well.

0. If you're an idiot and don't know this, stay there the whole day. There are no halfsies or fractionsies. You either stay the whole day or you don't. Apnay saath mazak na karo aik session attend kar ke. Yes, technically you can, but it's like going to your favourite country and only going to a small part of one city. It's just not ok.

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