Zac O Yeah regaled his audience at an interactive session held at the Oxford Book Store

Thanks to an absolute deluge of rain that had descended on the city suddenly, the Oxford Book Store at the Leela Palace where the interactive session with Swedish writer Zac O Yeah is to be held is almost empty.

With his trademark hat in place, Zac O Yeah looks a trifle discomfited at the sparse audience that his session has garnered but his inherent optimism soon kicks in and he starts the session by quipping, “When you write fiction, you are lying anyway.”

Fiction is certainly the forte of this former playwright, director, performer and musician who retired at 25 from it all and then went on to write several books, two of which are in English. Zac describes his latest novel, set in Bangalore as a comic crime novel. “Though it is a peculiar genre, thrillers lend itself to comedy so it is a good combination.”

His latest novel, Mr Majestic: The Tout of Bengaluru, is the story of Hari aka Mr Majestic, a Bangalore-based tout who is pitted against the city’s underworld and becomes an unwilling hero who goes on to rescue a maiden, escape from thugs, and save the day.

The author read an excerpt of the book and then threw the floor open for a lively discussion with the audience.

Asked on why he liked touts and whether he has had any experience with them, he laughs and recalls his own experience with one, “I remember being accosted by a tout who promised me a ticket to a Ravi Shankar concert that he claimed was so exclusive that no one else had heard of it. I gave him 300 rupees but then took it back after I realised that he was trying to con me. As I walked away, however, I realized that I should have let him keep the money simply for giving me a glorious performance.”

“I think Hari is my alter ego,” he adds. “Just like he tries selling people tickets and hotel bookings, I am trying to sell you my book.”