A good lover has to be sensitive to a woman's need. Pavan K. Varma's new-age adaptation of Vatsyayana's cult classic Kama Sutra makes precisely this point. Keeping in mind the celebrated sage's instruction that men and women are equal partners in the act of consummation, Varma takes us on a witty journey through what has sometimes been seen as a 'heavy' manual on sex, and at others as a volume of titillating visuals. This adaptation is a serious tribute to the genius and vision of Vatsyayana, highlighting the 'modernity' of what he wrote two thousand years ago - that the fulfilment of women is at the heart of the experience of sex, and that the lines between sex and sensuality, and between social mores and individual desire are indeed fine and must be understood deeply.
Writer-diplomat Pavan K. Varma, born in 1953, is a graduate in History from St. Stephen's College, New Delhi. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1976. He has been press secretary to the President of India, spokesman of the ministry of external affairs, high commissioner for India in Cyprus, and director of The Nehru Centre, London. He has written over a dozen books including Krishna: The Playful Divine, Ghalib: The Man, The Times, and The Havelis of Old Delhi. His first book on a contemporary subject was the path-breaking The Great Indian Middle Class, followed by Being Indian: The Truth About Why the 21st Century Will Be India's, later published by William Heinemann in the United Kingdom and translated into Japanese, Spanish, French and Portuguese. A widely admired public speaker, Pavan Varma is currently director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi.