And so the dream girl from Madras who made it big in Bombay once upon a time wrote her life story. Or, rather, co-authored it with someone. And the duo made it to the Literary Fest that happens each year in our city in January. Now The Man from Madras Musings has never been a great fan of this personality, who is currently a lawmaker representing a constituency in the cow belt, but he nevertheless decided to attend the session, chiefly because he was slated to go on stage after her.

The session ran on predictable lines – the co-author was an unabashed fan and so gushed and gushed. Her Majesty lapped it all up. The session itself had been rehearsed several times evidently, for the conversation was so perfect that it appeared to be based on a script like the many that the lady would have followed in the past.

But there is one aspect that cannot be stage-managed and that is the question-answer session. When that came around, the actress had to fend for herself. She did quite well until the microphone went into the hand of a man who then looked upon it as a personal possession and did not part with it. The conversation then went like this:

Questioner: “Madam, I am great fan of yours.”

Actress: “Thank you.”

Q: “My mother bought the water purifier that you endorsed in a TV commercial.”

A: (beaming): “Thank you.” (outside of her films she evidently has a limited vocabulary).

Q: “But of late the after-sales service is really bad. Can you do something about it.”

A (beaming a lot less and turning icy for which she was justly famous at one time): “I will inform the managing director of the company. Thank you.”

Q: ” Madam, I am on the look out for a good cooking range. Can you recommend one?”

At this point of time, what with MMM’s session being next, a smart volunteer prised the microphone from the questioner’s hand and saved the actress from apoplexy.