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Doc who eliminated apprehension of sex dies | India News


MUMBAI: For a country that remains strangely sensitive when it comes to talking about sex, Dr. Mahinder Watsa was ahead of his time. The bright-eyed doctor passed away peacefully Sunday night at his home, working to the end in his colorful role as ‘sex expert’. He was 96 years old.
The witty tone in his daily Mumbai Mirror column belied his age. Because he answered the weirdest queries, about masturbation, hymen reconstruction, and the wisdom of fornicating with a goat, with a brilliant combination of clinical objectivity and deadpan humor. His answer to a question once sparked a frivolous, if very infuriating, lawsuit from a prude, but he patiently addressed a city magistrate’s court, even distributing leaflets on safe sex to baffled policemen along the way.
But the popular sex column was simply the latest chapter in a lifetime of service dedicated to helping people understand the most important overriding imperative that can affect everything – their sex lives. While working as a gynecologist, Dr. Watsa often found himself in the role of a women’s counselor, which is what led him towards sex therapy. During his time at the Family Planning Association of India, he presented manuals on sex education and once joked that the Khajuraho temple sculptures may have been India’s first sex manuals.
For decades, thousands of people, from movie actors of yesteryear to teenagers of today, flocked to him to freely discuss what could not be discussed elsewhere. It would help young couples who had failed to consummate their marriage; and lonely old people who wanted to renew their sex lives, sometimes with new partners. Everyone felt comfortable and their problems treated with respect.
Watsa was born in Kolkata and lived throughout undivided India, including Lahore and Rangoon, before settling in Mumbai. His father was a medical researcher in the British Army, who worked on the development of the plague vaccine at the Haffkine Institute. His wife Promila passed away many years ago. Watsa is survived by a son, a daughter-in-law, granddaughters and a great-grandson.

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