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Pavan K. Varma
Is your new posting a reward for translating the PM's poems?
I don't think the two are necessarily connected, but my literary interests could have landed me this job.
How is this different from your other diplomatic posts?
It is a cultural ambassador's post and this is the first time an ifs officer will head the Nehru Centre.
Was your last job as ambassador to Cyprus a punishment posting?
No, I greatly enjoyed it, and also managed to finish writing my magnum opus.
A sequel to Great Indian Middle Class?
No. Being Indian (to be launched by Penguin in April) deconstructs the many myths Indians nurture.
Are you co-editing a book on Indian erotica?
Yes, I am the co-author of Love and Lust: Anthology of Erotic Literature in Ancient and Medieval India to be published soon by Harper Collins.
Aren't you afraid to be writing erotica?
No, I think it is an important aspect of Indian philosophy and literature, where the role of kama is crucial for leading a balanced human life.
You are also working on the Kama Sutra?
Yes, on the wisdom of the Kama Sutra.
Wisdom and Kama Sutra? Khushwant Singh once called it the silliest book on earth...
Most people confuse the Kama Sutra with unemulable postures but it is mostly about the creation of the right erotic sentiment.
Is the ancient text still relevant today?
Yes, with easy access to sex, we have lost erotic sentiment.
Do you miss the P3P appearances?
No, I hear P3P is rip. I was part of it when it was alive.