Thursday, March 30, 2017

Polite Pickup lines in Indian Pubs - Book Review

Polite Pickup lines in Indian Pubs: Scenario Based Conversations in Pubs
By Varun Mannava
Review By Ila Garg

Polite Pickup lines in Indian Pubs, a novel by Varun Mannava, is published by Notion Press. The cover shows a scene of a pub, loaded with alcohol bottles. The bar chairs and bar lights are added too to give the complete ambiance of a pub. A drink is being poured out right on the top of the cover.

Varun Mannava was born in Visakhapatnam and raised in Chennai. At the age of eighteen, he delivered newspapers and magazines for a living. This was just a passing phase. After completing his twelfth grade, he could not join any college for two years. His family was struggling financially. He used to always imagine that he was born for greater things. He got through Madras Christian College in 2003 but still had to work to get his family going. So, he joined Sathyam Cinemas as a customer relations associate. Every day he used to attend college between 8:00 in the morning and 1:00 in the afternoon. By 3:00 in the afternoon, he would reach Sathyam Cinemas and work there till 11:00 in the evening. This went on for three years. By 2006, one fine day, New York's largest stand-alone hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co., picked him for its Indian operations at Hyderabad through campus interview. Varun owes his life to his college, the three years in Sathyam Cinemas and the seven years in D. E. Shaw India. In 2013, he moved to Gurgaon from Hyderabad to work for a Wall Street bank. He was awestruck by the lifestyle this city had to offer. The day he walked into Striker, Gurgaon (a popular pub) in 2013, he knew it was going to change his life forever! Today, the hunch has come true. He has written his first book.

The blurb reads as, “There must be countless conversations in pubs that people would carry along with them to their grave because they never mustered the courage to speak. That one girl you saw, that one line you wanted to say but you couldn't because you were shy or you had no clue how to start the conversation. That moment when you felt that the pub was not working in your favour. That moment when you thought of that one friend who could help you converse easily with the women you admired. Well your search for pub conversations ends here. Polite Pickup Lines in Indian Pubs: Scenario-based Conversations in Pubs aims to deliver the answers to all your questions about conversation starters, how to use the pub to your advantage, where to talk, where not to talk, how to talk, how not to talk, whom to talk, whom not to talk, why talk. This book helps you create scenarios where conversations are bound to happen. 
It's time to stir up this world!”

The title makes it look like a self-help book. And maybe some readers would actually find it a self-help book only, however, it gives you a virtual experience of a pub. It takes you right inside the pub and shows you how things work in there.

I have read so many books on how to get a girl in 10 days, how to behave on a date (of course, all such books came in for review). And I had hated each one of them as they were too preachy and obvious. But this one is different. It’s about how to be friends with opposite gender when in a pub, how to impress people rather than put them off with cheesy pickup lines. It’s about behaving in a non-pushy way. It’s about learning social dynamics—a perfect book for introverts.

The language is simple and easy to comprehend. Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. It’s amazingly well-written. I found it quite engaging. It was as if somebody is actually getting inside your head and putting the exact things that we tend to do when nervous inside a pub and how to avoid them. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author. He has great observation skills and has listed 51 tips for men to use when inside a pub. That doesn't mean it's only for men!! He has given subtle warnings too which you would find quite relatable.

Further, this 118-page book is a light read and overall a compelling book. For frequent pub-goers, the book is highly recommended.

Ratings: 3.5/5

Buying Link: Amazon


  1. Thanks for this wonderful review Ila !!

    --Varun Mannava

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Siddharth, pls do spread the word on your blog/ fb if you liked my book. As a return to your favour, I could give you more pickup tips over e-mail.

      --Varun Mannava

    2. Thanks Siddhartha :) I hope you read the book and share your feedback too.

  3. This book is quite interesting! :D

    1. Thanks Joe, pls do spread the word on your blog/ fb if you liked my book. As a return to your favour, I could give you more pickup tips over e-mail.

      --Varun Mannava

    2. Oh I am glad you liked the book :)