A new Bollywood film traces the fictional journey of a real-life writer of erotica whose racy low-cost works in Hindi spurred sales at bookstalls and pavement shops across India in the 1980’s and 90’s.
The identity of the author, who used the pseudonym Mastram, was never revealed, but the film’s director Akhilesh Jaiswal said he remembers sneaking the books in as a teenager, one of millions of adolescents in conservative India with little access to erotica before the Internet made pornography widely available.
Mastram’s works included “Yauvan ki Pehli Baarish” (First Rains of Youth), “Sexy Nurse” and “Manchali Bhabhi” (Salacious Sister-in-law).
“Every time I read the books, I used to wonder who this man was and what on earth he must be telling his kids about what he did to earn a living. Did his family know?” Jaiswal, 28, told India Insight in an interview.
Jaiswal, best known in the Hindi film industry for co-writing the 2012 revenge thriller “Gangs of Wasseypur”, chose Mastram as the subject for his debut film as director.