Sex and Nothing More
Vaani Arora
BLUE: THE TRANQUEBAR BOOK OF EROTIC STORIES FROM SRI LANKA by Ameena Hussein Tranquebar, New Delhi, 2011, 2012, 157 pp., 250
December 2012, volume 36, No 12

I must admit, I received my copy of this book on the same day as the Guwahati molestation case, and I was riling with anger towards men as sexual predators and women as victims of abuse at the hands of men who can’t control their sexual urges and also society. The act of sex that day at least wore a pall of oppression. But when the blurb of a book claims—’if you ever read one book like this in your lifetime—make it this one.’, it becomes a challenge to like it, irrespective of when you read it.

My advice—if this is the first book of its kind that you pick up, don’t make it the last one.

I was initially excited about exploring erotic Sri Lankan tales, but what I got instead was a set of stories that could have been from Bhopal, Kanpur or Ahmedabad. Most of the stories veer around literal description of the sexual act, rather than creating an ambience, a story that leads to one.

So what you have are pages on pages that mention hardened tits, sweat and bodies rubbing against each other, but no sense of typical Sri Lankan sexual innuendos or scatological references that Ameena Hussein mentions in her intro-duction. And believe me, repeatedly calling a vagina ‘her sex’ in an erotic story, will make you want to give up on the book halfway.

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