Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.
My first book, My Friend Sancho, was published in May 2009, and went on to become the biggest selling debut novel released that year in India. It is a contemporary love story set in Mumbai, and had earlier been longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2008. To learn more about the book, click here.
If you're interested, do join the Facebook group for My Friend Sancho
Click here for more about my publisher, Hachette India.
My posts on India Uncut about My Friend Sancho can be found here.
If Mahinder Watsa did not exist, we would have to invent him. Who else could get so many thousands of people to display their utter ignorance of sexual matters? Consider this question on Ask The Sexpert:
I indulged in unsafe sex on the ninth day of my period cycle. My friends asked me to have papaya to avoid pregnancy, which I did. Now, I am waiting for my periods. Should I take any other precaution? Please help.
Mr Watsa, naturally, sagely answered that papaya does not help in these matters. This reminds me of a chappie I knew in junior college who was just discovering his sexuality at the late age of 16. One day he called me and said, “Amit, I have a question to ask.”
“Go ahead,” I said seriously. “If it is within my domain of expertise, I shall do my best to answer.”
“Amit, here’s what I want to ask. How does one, um, how does one, ah, how does one, eh, [whispers] masturbate?”
I scratched my chin. What to say to this now? I decided to mess with him.
“Oh, that’s easy,” I said. “Just catch the tip and squeeze it hard.”
“Thank you, Amit! Thank you!”
I went back to whatever I was doing, and half an hour later he calls me again.
“Amit, there’s a problem.”
“I followed your instructions but, ah, but, er, [whispers] it’s hurting.”
So there you go. If this was to happen today, the dude would promptly write a letter to Mahinder Watsa, and Mr Watsa would, in all seriousness, proceed to explain how one masturbates.
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9 across: Van Morrison classic from Moondance (7)
6 down: Order beginning with ‘A’ (12)