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About Amit Varma

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. These days, he makes his living playing poker as he works on his second novel.




My Friend Sancho

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.


Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

We Are All Sharks

This is the 36th installment of my fortnightly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. A few days ago,…

An Economic Message from God

The editors of Okonomos, the economics journal of the Hansraj College in Delhi, asked me to write a guest article…

It’s All a Gamble

This is the 35th installment of my fortnightly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. Some people, when I…

The Kim Kardashian Liberals

This is the 13th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. You…

Deep Thought

This is the 34th installment of my fortnightly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. I discovered poker as…

12 December, 2008

Papaya As Contraceptive

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.”

“What happened?”

“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.

Oh, wait.

Earlier posts on Mr Watsa: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Posted by Amit Varma in Personal | WTF

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