`Many Indians still find sex to be dirty`

A considerable section in urban India may be enjoying sexual freedom but for majority of Indians, sex is still a dirty word, says writer Richard Crasta, author of the novel `Revised Kama Sutra`.

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2010, 13:31 PM IST

New Delhi: A considerable section in urban India may be enjoying sexual freedom but for majority of Indians, sex is still a dirty word, says writer Richard Crasta, author of the novel `Revised Kama Sutra`.
"One of the curious things I have noticed is that for lot of Indians, sex is still a dirty word. So it will take time for them to remain relaxed and enjoy the experience," says Crasta, who has come out with a republished version of his raunchy comic novel ‘The Revised Kama Sutra’, published 20 years ago.

"There is considerable sexual freedom seen among the urban Indian crowd, they are more liberal in talking about sex. But 95 per cent of the lower middle class still has
reservations," he told reporters.

According to Crasta, who divides his time between US and India, virginity is very important for Indians but the biggest problem is hypocrisy.

"A major section of the society is still repressed," he says. On the recent trend among young couples to remain childless and instead concentrate on careers and property, he says, "Money has become a displacement for repressed sex."

One of the funniest and most talked-about novels, `The Revised Kama Sutra`, with its distinctive voice and its hilarious story of an Indian boy growing into manhood, has garnered rave reviews from readers and critics alike and has been translated into languages as diverse and exotic as Latvian and Hebrew.

It has been published in 11 countries and in eight languages. It tells the story of Vijay Prabhu, a small-town, middle-class Indian boy, a survivor of assorted Jesuit boarding schools and the ‘five pillars of oppression’ – bells, canes, penis shame, girl shame, and sports.

Filled with erotic longing and a deep desire to be free of conservative Mangalore, Prabhu embarks on a sexual and spiritual odyssey that finally ends in the US, the land of free sex, free speech, greenbacks, and Campbell`s Cream of Chicken Soup.

On the book’s title, he says, "It is an ironic title, very subversive. India is the land of the Kamasutra and we are experts in the art of seducing women. The characters in the novel make fun of the Kamasutra."

He incorporated minor changes but "did not dilute anything". The revised edition is published by HarperCollins India.

"I have kept the story intact. The presentation and quality have improved," he says.

Along the way, the novel gives us new and gloriously comic insights into sex, childhood, colonialism, desire, ambition, women, and naive Third World dreamers of the American Dream.

PTI