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Spotlight On R.K. Pachauri's Steamy Literary Past

Spotlight On R.K. Pachauri's Steamy Literary Past
File - PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist

The Economic Times dated Feb 18, 2015 reports a case of sexual harassment that has been filed against the director-general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Rajendra Kumar Pachauri. The complaint has been lodged by a 29-year-old employee of TERI.

The report which has been removed from the ET website says:

The complainant, who works as a research-analyst at the New Delhi-based energy think tank, has cited unwanted physical advances besides being the recipient of SMS and WhatsApp messaging, emails and a handwritten note with dates and time that began soon after she joined TERI in September 2013. 

The complainant approached Delhi Police on February 13, four days after she moved TERI over the issue. However, the police has not lodged an FIR yet. 

According to the complainant:

On many occasions, against my wishes and despite knowing that I am totally against any such behaviour/act, Dr Pachauri has forcibly grabbed my body by hugging me, holding my hands, forcibly kissing me and touching my body in an inappropriate manner. 

Pachauri who is also chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a joint winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace denied all charges and said:

The said email has indicated misuse of my computer resources and communication devices without my permission or consent...I have come to know the factum that my computer resources including my email ids, mobile phone and WhatsApp messages have been hacked and that unknown cyber criminals have unauthorisedly accessed by computer resources and communication devices and further committed various criminal activities. 

Other than being one of the world's most important climate scientists, Pachauri has also dabbled in fiction-writing. In 2010, he published his debut novel Return to Almora. Outlook carried a review:

In the very first chapter, an American woman undresses and slips under the sheets and demands of Dr Sanjay Nath, the protagonist, "It's cold, Sandy. Come and keep me warm." And so he does. Then on, there is scarcely a chapter that does not contain a steamy scene. For example: "He removed his clothes and began to feel Sajni's body, caressing her voluptuous breasts. He felt very excited, but wanted to enjoy exploring her body before he attempted to enter her. But suddenly, it was all over." And later, when Sanjay is teaching women yoga, he enjoys "the sensation of gently pushing Susan's shoulders back a few inches, an action that served to lift her breasts even higher". When the sex is not graphic, it is almost comically euphemistic. After Sanjay pretends to be impotent in order to reject the advances of a married woman, he thinks gleefully, "Now that the dessert she had been hoping to savour after dinner had gone limp in the unheated oven...." 

In the absence of women, the author has his protagonist masturbating, stealing a red handkerchief from a passenger on a train for the purpose: "He pulled it out gently, imagined Pooja naked and ready by his side, and got busy with his right hand." Like Sanjay, Pachauri was 15 in 1955, and like Sanjay, he spent his early years in Nainital. But Sanjay is a character no author would want to resemble beyond a point. And his friends, for sure, don't make role models either. After he participates in a gangbang, his 'spiritual master' lets him off the hook with the following line: "You only took liberty physically with a girl who needed no coercion or deception." Sanjay's dead girlfriend appears to him whenever he is with another woman. After he has had sex with a woman in her 50s, the voice in his head says, "It's a good thing you waited so long. It's totally safe now. She can't be pregnant."

The Telegraph too listed some of the raciest bits from the novel by the Nobel Laureate:

By page 16, Sanjay is ready for his first liaison with May in a hotel room in Nainital. "She then led him into the bedroom," writes Dr Pachauri.

"She removed her gown, slipped off her nightie and slid under the quilt on his bed... Sanjay put his arms around her and kissed her, first with quick caresses and then the kisses becoming longer and more passionate.

"May slipped his clothes off one by one, removing her lips from his for no more than a second or two.

"Afterwards she held him close. 'Sandy, I've learned something for the first time today. You are absolutely superb after meditation. Why don't we make love every time immediately after you have meditated?'."

More follows, including Sanjay and friends queuing to have sexual encounters with Sajni, an impoverished but willing local: "Sanjay saw a shapely dark-skinned girl lying on Vinay's bed. He was overcome by a lust that he had never known before ... He removed his clothes and began to feel Sajni's body, caressing her voluptuous breasts."

Sadly for Sanjay, writes Dr Pachauri, "the excitement got the better of him, before he could even get started". 
A friend of Susan is taken to a motel by Sanjay but only after he has fondled her breasts – "which he just could not let go of" – inadvertently sounding the car horn at the same time.

Other passages in the novel involve group sex and more risqué sexual practices.

The last sentence from Outlook's review of the novel stands undisputed:

And rather than a Nobel, what it might get Pachauri, at most, is the Bad Sex award.

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