Sample Sunday Excerpt from THE REVISED KAMA SUTRA

THE REVISED KAMA SUTRA has been published in 10 countries and was called "very funny" by Kurt Vonnegut. It is a big book, and many of the most energetic and exuberant passages occur after the first 50 to 70 pages. In this passage, Vijay, the protagonist, is around 16 years old and has just made his first (unsuccessful) attempt to lose his cherry with a hooker:

How to Succeed

The confession had taken place on the very evening of the afternoon in which I had failed to unburden myself of my cherry. Heavy-handed Catholicism had captured and nailed down my sinning frame with Inquisitional power; within an hour, I had rushed to Jeppoo Church, a Portuguese-style structure coated with dark green moss and peeling yellow paint. Choosing the oldest and, I hoped, the deafest priest in this saint-rich church, I had confessed, shyly and mumblingly, my inept sin.

It was 1969, the year Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon for us all, for Indians and Papuans as well as Americans. The year in which Mangalore cinema theatres exhibited Casino Royale, Shatranj, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, and Operation Lovebirds: Story of Secret Agents . . . Sexy Agents . . . Super Agents . . . and Kissing Agents. And at last, in an achievement that to me equalled Neil’s, I had suddenly understood. Kneeling at that confessional, I had suddenly understood the mysterious Big Three questions that my Konkani Confessional Guide had put to me during seven years of innocent and puzzled childhood:

Did you see halshik things?
Did you do halshik things?
Did you think halshik things?
What could they possibly mean? I had wondered. If I did halshik or dirty things such as pick my nose, or see a stinking pig, or think about playing in the mud, how could that be sinful, rather than merely unsanitary or distasteful? Now I not only understood, but could answer these questions with an unqualified yes!


Understand, please: I still feared God and the doom of my immortal soul. So terrified was I of what I had done, of that woman’s dark, sweaty jungle that had barely touched my own, that I never again bicycled within a mile of that hotel. But, ruled by a force more powerful than a confessional guide, I couldn’t stop being obsessed by sex, that new three-letter synonym for sin. Days after I made my confession, I returned to my pursuit of carnal literature.

A repeat sinner? I felt now like a lost, fallen soul, beyond redemption forever. When I tried to pray, a strange voice within me, like a rude telephone operator, interrupted the lines and addressed God on my behalf: ‘Who are you? You are an impostor! Leave me alone, you who call yourself God!’ 

‘Even if I make a mistake, don’t help me,’ the voice said to God. ‘I don’t want your help. If I sink, I sink alone. All these years, when I asked you for your help, where were you? Eating biknas?’ 

It was this sense of being forever damned that made me act perversely, even angrily. I found for the first time that I could resist the urge to do good, and for no particular reason. Noticing a fallen teaspoon and, instinctively bending to pick it up, I would stop myself and pass on, thinking, ‘Lost. Anyway my soul is lost. So what does it matter if this damned teaspoon stays down? Never mind.’

What speeded up my fall from grace, my complete escape from Heaven and heavenly hopes, my descent to earth and earthiness, was the loss of my illusions of virtue, and life on the home front.

The rented house we had moved into the previous year in a minuscule act of upward mobility hid in a section of Jeppoo so dense with coconut, mango, and jackfruit trees that it was often hard to tell the time, and a fruit-flavoured, late-afternoon, siesta mood hung in the air for most of the day.

At the end of a narrow, unpaved lane through which only a sober man and a skilful bicyclist could pass simultaneously, you opened a faded ochre iron gate, and entered a small compound, a sunbaked clearing bordered by a red stone wall and a lightly mossed eggshell-coloured mud house in dirty brown shorts. You walked over the crunchy mud and pebbles, past exuberant and sometimes riotous red roses, marigolds, bluebells and crotons on either side, and rang the doorbell, which startled you with a muffled animal cry: Aaark! A minute later, a harried woman in a sari, hurriedly uncombed hair, sweat droplets on her face, would open the thin wooden door and smile weakly, just a shade defeatedly.


It was my mother, and she would show you—if you looked respectable enough—into the house where I lived in the embers of my teenage years. (If you didn’t look respectable enough, she would say, ‘We don’t need anything. Go away! . . . er, what have you got?’) In the tiny living room, a disorderly assembly of furniture would greet you: a blue plastic-covered sofa and four wooden chairs on which lay anaemic, crumpled green cushions like vagrants on a park bench; a wooden table with a few pens, a table calendar, text books. Occupying a strategic high point on the wall opposite the entrance door was a lemon-coloured picture of a blond boy Jesus, eyeballs recklessly upturned, the head wearing a vaporous, yellow halo; below it a banner of red letters on white demanded: GOD BLESS OUR HOME.

Stepping through the door, you’d find yourself in the primordial, unblessed darkness of the altar-room-cum-part-time-bedroom, dominated by a Gothic wooden altar. A pint-sized, red-robed statue of a chestnut-haired Jesus stood glumly and a shade anxiously under the centre arch, flanked by a maroon Saint Anthony and a sky-blue Mary under each side arch, both stonefacedly grim, as if protesting their damp and dingy confinement.

To your left lay the tiny parental bedroom, a poorly lighted cave piled with the furniture and material possessions—including some calorific possessions such as plantains, chakkulis, and laddoos—of the Prabhu family. At the present moment, on a September afternoon a few months after the first moonwalk, it also contained one horizontal Mummyji, trying to snatch her pre-lunch maternal nap.

Not very successfully, though, for at this point Rukmini, the pigtailed eight-year-old pigmy of a servant girl with coffee-coloured skin and bright eyes always on the point of smiling, burst in and reported thus to Mrs. Mummyji: ‘A cow has entered the gate!’

Mummyji: ‘Drive it away. What do you have to tell me for?’ She paused, and then followed with: ‘I’ll drive you too with the cow! Let’s see. I’ll find out what you’re doing!’

Rukmini, like most of our other short-lived servant girls and occasional boys, didn’t actually increase the domestic productivity or give Mom the eternal rest she so craved (even though she did ultimately drive this particular cow away). But she gave Mom a role to play, a role that was as important as being Mrs. Mummyji: she was the director, producer, and star of an endless musical soap opera called ‘Me and My Hopeless Servant Girl’, with songs such as ‘Oh What a Slovenly Morning’, ‘Poor Directing I’, ‘You Say Potayto, I Say Peel ‘Em’, ‘With a Servant Girl Like You’, ‘Now Sweep that Chicken, Sweep that Chicken, Sweep that Chicken Shit!’ and ‘When Chapatis are A-Frying, I’ll Come Yelling Back to You’.

Mom’s other starring role was in a poultry production (in association with Cock a Doodle Doo, Inc. and Rukmini the Servant Girl, who having just driven away the cow was now driving the hens about for no particular reason). Yes: while Pop defended his savings, Mom became Defender of the Hens. At any given time she ruled over a colony of at least three hens and a cock, arguing that it was cheaper to grow (lay?) your own eggs—despite an actual yield of about an egg a day—while we ungrateful egg-eating kids blasted Mom with newly learnt theories of the economies of scale, according to which three hens were a drain on the household economy because of their disproportionate use of management overheads and their depressing effect on neighbourhood real estate values. But our real grouse had to do with the tendency of the hens to sneak into the house at the slightest unguarded moment and shit on chairs, tables, the floor, our shoes—and on occasion, perhaps in an outburst of good manners, in the toilet. This tendency, besides prompting us to rename our home The Brown House, 1600 Hen-Sylvania Avenue—was a greater catastrophe than might appear at first sight to the holistic, natural fertilizer lobby, For instead of a Pursuit of Truth, a Quest for Meaning, a Search for Identity—all those building blocks of True Greatness—one’s major purpose in life became the Avoidance of Shit. The Prabhu children’s potential contribution to civilization was squandered forever, because they were scarred by the fear of stamping, sitting on, getting one’s hands into chicken shit.

Available on all major platforms, it is the best value among my books in my humble opinion.   Links:


But if you didn't dig it, and wished to consider an alternative, here is a simpler and more modern book of satire, humor, and absurdity that some people seem to enjoy (not for the thin-skinned, this is a no-sacred cows book of humor):

I WILL NOT GO THE F**K TO SLEEP which is at:



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