Dave Prager’s Delirious Delhi: Curious Book Launch Event

Dave Prager’s Delirious Delhi: Curious Book Launch Event

Woo hoo, Dave signed my copy of Delirious Delhi. The book is going to be a HIT…and I am soooo jealous 🙂

Although I can’t prove it, I swear that the cosmic universe is listening to my heart and sending me clear signals that I’m supposed to write a book. It’s something that I have been thinking about for a few years but in very broad terms. I even started writing the synopsis for one back before I moved to India but I never completed it. Since my arrival in Bangalore it seems like life is pushing me down the path to a book. The obvious first sign is that people other than my Mom and friends actually found and started reading my blog (I will never forget when my blog traffic went from my daughter, Mom, sister and 18 friends to 100s of visitors in a day…mostly from India…that was sooo cool!). I have the other writing gigs that popped up with a couple of websites (the-NRI.com is quite fun!) and my weekly contribution to the Bangalore edition of the newspaper DNA. Then two weeks ago I made friends with someone who is launching a book this month who is really encouraging and pushing me to write a book. And finally, last week I received an invite from HarperCollins to a book launch event for a fellow American who has just published a book about life in India.

Fate? Destiny? Who knows! However, I do know enough to understand that books don’t write themselves and that fate and the universe will only do so much. So I RSVP’d for the book launch event, designed myself a “writer” business card to give to the HarperCollins rep at the event, invited my wonderfully encouraging friend to come along… and went to my first-ever book launch in India. Now let me tell you, that in itself was quite an experience!

HarperCollins must have a partnership agreement with Crossword book store because the event was held in the strangest location imaginable in Bangalore. Not strange with respect to the venue. I mean, come on, a book store seems like an ideal place to hold a launch event for a newly published book. But strange in that it was in an area of town called JP Nagar that is so far removed from downtown Bangalore that most of us at the event had never even been to that part of town before. I am sure that the attendance numbers would have been very different if the event had been held someplace more convenient and central.

The MC is the young guy in all black… I think the look on our faces says it all !!!

I was early and lucky to be one of the first people to arrive so I had the pleasure to sit and chat with the author Dave Prager, Sonia who is one of the real-life characters in his book who was also there, as well as the author Vikramajit Ram who was there to interview Dave. It turns out the one of my good friends here in Bangalore works with Sonia and Dave is friends with my girlfriend Sharrel Cook who just launched her first book (check it out here) and writes the blog White Indian Housewife and Barnaby Haszard Morris, a fellow contributor at the-NRI.com. The world is a funny place and it was delightful to discover just how small India can actually be at times.

Delirious Delhi is the name of the book and it looks fabulous! The book chronicles the real life adventures of two Americans, Dave and his now-wife Jenny, during their 18 months living in Delhi. I have my signed copy here next to me and can’t wait to dig in soon. After hearing Dave’s reading of only one page of the book I already know I’m going to love it! Here’s the link to read more about the book and the author: http://deliriousdelhi.com/

The event started on time, which was a pleasant surprise given that the running joke is that things always run on Indian Standard Time, which means a little late. The publisher had hired an 18-year-old M.C. (master of ceremonies) to oversee the event and armed him with a microphone, which might have been a mistake but you be the judge of that. He kicked off the event with an insanely long guessing game about how many times a certain set of acronyms appeared on a 10 Rupee note. The first minute or two or three it was okay and kind of fun because it loosened up the audience but it dragged on for almost 5 minutes and stopped being fun long before that. Dave suggested that he wrap it up a couple of times but the kid just didn’t listen.

Then he brought Dave up with an introduction but didn’t let it go at that…he wanted to read part of the forward himself and it was really painful to watch because he seemed to be trying to act a bit and not just read it naturally. I’m sure that Dave simply wanted to start his reading and then sit down for the one-on-one chat with fellow author Vikram. But the kid just kept going. Then when he was actually done with his intro and Dave wanted to start the reading, he called up Vikram and essentially postponed the reading yet again. It was really crazy.

Dave and Vikram unwrapped the first Delirious Delhi books to hit Bangalore.

Vikram spoke a few words and then suggested that he and Dave “unwrap” a copy each of the book, which is apparently tradition to symbolize the official launch of the book (I’m not sure if that is tradition here in India or everywhere though to be honest). After that he let Dave get to it thankfully but it was a really odd exchange with the M.C. before Vikram stepped in.

Dave read a hilarious passage from Delirious Delhi about how foreigners in India ignore other foreigners on the streets in order to feel a bit more like the only explorers to EVER hit India. It was really funny. He and Jenny fondly call this behaviour “Gora Evasion”. His depiction was so well written and poked fun at themselves in such a way that he had us all laughing! After that he and Vikram enjoyed a nice banter session which opened up a lot of interesting topics and gave some wonderful insight into the author, life in Delhi, the struggle of writing a book and much more.

But things got curiouser and curiouser, as Alice would say! Our M.C. looked like he was trying to turn the event into his show instead of the author’s. There were lots of people who asked questions during the Q&A session and after each one the kid would ask a follow-up question based on the response that Dave gave to the guest. And after Dave said “okay, one last question” …. our little M.C. took two or three more questions. Personally, I think that the publisher’s rep should have simply introduced Vikram and then let Vikram introduce Dave and that would have made for an improved event but that’s just my two cents.

I was so happy to have been invited and I am definitely so glad that I went. Dave’s story has really inspired me to get back at it and to start writing more again. If you follow my blog you’ll have noticed that I don’t write that much anymore compared to the almost daily blog posts I wrote when I first moved to India. I think that event came at the perfect time for me and I’m so thankful for that. This is now the 2nd day in a row that I am posting a new article. Yee haw!!

Now I just need a plan for how to turn Angela’s Adventure in Bangalore into a book 🙂 Suggestions are more than welcome.

XOXO Angela


Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 37 countries on 4 continents, residing in 8 of them (currently Indonesia's Riau Islands is my home). I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Ankur

    All the best! Am sure you already have a lot of seed material to begin your book…or a journal?
    I Agree it’s a sign for you to author a best seller!

    1. angela_carson

      Thanks, Ankur. Indeed I have tons of stories that would make the eyes roll back in disbelief 🙂 I really appreciate your kind words very much. Hope you’ll keep reading!! Angela

  2. sharell

    Oh my, that MC really does sound like he was determined to make the event all about himself. Maybe he forgot that he wasn’t at an audition for India’s Got Talent. 😛 I also loved Dave’s Gora Evasion theory. Very funny and revealing, and definitely with a bit of truth to it.

    Anyway, I really hope you do progress to writing that book!

    1. angela_carson

      hahaha omg I think he did think he was at an audition! I felt so bad for Dave 🙁 The marketing VP in me wanted to go pull the kid aside and tell him to sit down and turn the microphone off 🙂 Thanks for your words of encouragement. I think Dave’s event has set some wheels in motion for me!!! Missing you, can’t wait for the India launch and success of your book sugar xo

      1. sharell

        Dave did mention him to me. 😉 I wish I could’ve been there to see it.

        The universe really does conspire to get things rolling. I don’t doubt that it will all fall into place for you. xo

  3. syamukamath

    BOL! Would be eagerly waiting for its release. Lets see how India gets picturisd n foreigners view.hehe.
    May be I too would have to move Bangalore after studies. I havnt yet visitd , eventhough lots of my relatives and friends reside in Bangalore.

    1. angela_carson

      You are sweet, thanks so much! 🙂 and you should definitely come to Bangalore….it is fantastic!!!

      1. sharell

        Fantastic…any dancing happening there yet now the ban has been lifted?

        1. angela_carson

          Yes and no… we can boogie oogie woogie at the sanctioned dance floors which are still only really at the 5 star hotels. So, I do 🙂 Last Saturday night I danced like a rock star, was so fun. My friend is from Sweden and he and I were the only expats in the joint. Was so fun 🙂 ((Please make your publisher launch the book here soon!!!))

      2. syamukamath

        Lol. Is dancing banned in Bangalore ?!:-P

      3. syamukamath

        Good that your nt in Gujrat, there s no Bar , non veg etc. People go to Daman diu , a to eat non veg etc. Lols

  4. praveensathy

    hello angela. hope you are doing fine. i have commented on one of your blogs and i suppose you remember me from that. first and foremost i would like to say that if i had said something wrong it is not deliberate and i apologize for that. when i commented on the article it was almost 3 am here in manchester and i was sort of feeling tired and sleepy. i misread the article as 99% of the indian men are ugly and that prompted me to write those comments. i can see that you have travelled quite a lot and that would have definitely broadened your mind and understand things better than those who haven’t. it is also good to know that you are making things happen and you are quite successful. all the best for that. i have also sent you an invite on linkedin twice just because i thought i can send you this message privately. well now that i haven’t heard from you, i am sending this message to you here. hope it is fine with you. now, coming back to what you have written on the NRI blog i should say that it has got a bit of truth to it. maybe indian men are trying their luck hoping to get lucky. i can totally understand your feeling of being a foreigner in india and when people try and annoy you(especially those who you could not even remotely compare to tom cruise or nicholas cage or jonhhy depp) it is very difficult. it is even more difficult when people who talk with you are just trying to sneak into your pants without realizing how the other person would feel. they are just ignorant. i only tell this because i have been living in the UK for the past 2 1/2 years and i am a foreigner in this country too. i have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in england. racial stereotyping is common here. the common stereotypes are ‘indians smell of ‘curry’ and they have a name for ‘desis’ in here. we are proudly called ‘pakis’. just imagine how would a person feel when he is called a ‘paki’ and worse still some yobs threw french fries on me when i was walking through a street. i was warned beforehand but i had to go there because of some work. this is how ‘friendly’ the great britain is. again i am not generalizing and i have some good friends in here as well. the reason i am trying to say this is that i wanna make you understand that you would never be abused racially in india and you would be treated with a lot more respect than our own people. i suppose there are lots of indians in the US too and you should be having some indian friends. since you have travelled a lot you will know the difference between indians who are born in the west and the indians who are born in india. i have also heard about spaniards and their infamous ibiza beach and i suppose you must have had a good time there. i have felt like telling this to you and now i am relieved. i am a different from others and i can assure you that. i would be more than happy to have you on my facebook account if you desire. i can see that you are defo gonna have a good time in india. take care and enjoy it.

    1. angela_carson

      Hi Praveen,

      I don’t remember which post you commented on that might have pissed me off, haha…what the heck did you say in it? 🙂 Thanks for your very enlightening depiction of the flip side of the coin. I am so sorry that you or anyone experiences what you have described. I am the first one to admit that the “positive” ways that I am treated in India is totally unfair. It really embarrasses me when shop keepers leave locals or try to attend to me first, etc. I’m also the first to complain about constantly being hit on. Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to share… As far as connecting on LinkedIn and FB, I simply don’t connect to people I don’t know personally. I’m sorry if I didn’t reply sooner to share that detail with you. Please do keep commenting though. Best of luck to you in the UK. –ange

      1. syamukamath

        Ya , there are good, bad and ugly here too. These men think that ‘whites’ are easy going , sluts(as if these men are saints) and are very rich (so they tend to use u as ‘Atm’.).
        Just such type live everywhere. These people are the main reason ,why I said it would be hard for girls to work in bar etc.
        But dnt feel bad just if sum1 stares, that may be mostly out of curiosity.

      2. praveensathy

        thanks for the comments angela. you can find my comments on ‘why do many married men in india cheat’. eventually you will be used to indians treating you attentively. indians always follow one golden rule if you wanna know: “atithi devo bhava”. it is sanskrit and i did not literally use the devanagari script for your easy understanding. it means “treat guests like god”. you are india’s guest i suppose. i am curious about your indian friends in the US. do you have some friends there? if you are still there in india when i return we could go out for a drink if you wish and i will keep posting the comments and will share whatever little i know. thanks. – praveen

        1. syamukamath

          Athithi devo bhava, yes let Guests be treatd as God ,. Thats our culture.

        2. angela_carson

          I still have friends in the US, and family, but I haven’t been to the states in a decade 🙂

    1. syamukamath

      What can we do?!
      A Leading daily had recently put up with evidences , that how BARS and Restaurents in fort cochin and alappey misuse NIGHT CLUB AND DANCE. And child abuse rate and prostitution had enormously increasd. Such children , used for such activities later turn into big criminals ,. Hotel s*** etc in cochin were many times found distributing Drugs , Ganja etc to tourists . You have to believe, ‘these bar owners are doing’ who you are advocating for ,were doing those thngs underground In the name of tourism and Night club.
      Thats why it had to be restrictd to star hotels. Many people only see wots going on in the front not wots happening inside.

  5. syamukamath

    We cant allow ‘prostitution’ for coping up with ‘international’ standards. India is a religious, cultural country. And Religiöns and leaders occupy prominent position here. We cant contaminate our culture in the name of globalisatn. Its the same govt, which made bangalore 3rd most visitable. We accept gud thngs western, including it. Bt cant allow western or indian, prostitn. Mumbai -Delhi model cant be made in Bangalore . May be you have heard of ‘Red street’ in mumbai. Where majority are HIV infectd.

    1. angela_carson

      Wow, you have some very different views. I imagine that we have very different kinds of Indian friends and social circles…. thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      1. syamukamath

        Dear sister my views are nt against any1 dancing. But these dances arent clean as we see in bollywood.
        But in India always
        SHIT HAPPENS.lol

      2. syamukamath

        Dear sister my views are nt against any1 dancing. But these dances arent clean as we see in bollywood.
        But in India always
        SHIT HAPPENS.lol
        dnt worry if I ever become CM , i will lift the ban and make the change.

  6. syamukamath

    Have you heard of ‘Devdasi ‘ system.
    Devdasis were initially women priests with highstatus n society.
    But later on they went to become ‘Dancers’ and part time prostitutes.
    The night clubs are western forms of Devdasi system, ATLEAST IN INDIA. Only difference is Devdasis did Indian dance and nw its western dance. Wots happening n back s still happening.
    I would suggest u read some local newspapers .:-)
    but these are just my views, no OFFENCE meant.

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