Many dreary mornings were made more bearable just by reading Dr Mahinder Watsa’s daily sex advice column in a newspaper. To the numerous questions of those baffled and intrigued by the logistics of sex, Watsa offered solutions that were witty and blunt, but considerate and practical.
India’s famous, and funniest, sexpert passed away on Monday morning, aged 96. His children released a statement that read: “Dad was a man of many dimensions. He lived a glorious life and on his terms.”
Watsa is an important figure in India’s history of sex education and sex counseling. For the first 40 years of his career, he practiced as a gynaecologist and obstetrician. Working as a consultant for the Family Planning Association of India, he pushed for a sexual counseling and education programme. In 1974, the organization launched a sex education, counseling and therapy centre, the first in India. Watsa left his practice for counseling and education in the early 1980s.
His career as a columnist started in the 1960s, when he was providing medical advice in a women’s magazine. His popularity as the last word on sex was sealed with his Ask The Sexpert column that ran for the last 15 years, daily, in Mumbai Mirror. Nuggets from the column were compiled into a book titled It’s Normal, published in 2015.
Filmmaker Paromita Vohra, the founder of Agents of Ishq, a multimedia project on sex, love and desire, says, “Most of the time we talk around sex—we say sexuality, we discuss rights, we of course focus a lot on sexual violence and risk. But Dr. Watsa discussed sex as a routine part of life – a thing we do and feel and this direct experience of sex, not theory of sex, is a very crucial contribution.”
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