The Buti Call


The Buti Call

Illustration: Namaah/ Arré


ne of my favourite pastimes while travelling in Mumbai’s locals is to read the posters plastered all over the compartments: Some advertise coaching classes to improve your academic performance but a majority want to make you perform better out of the classroom. Enter the quasi-medical world of lingvardhak yantras, or penis-enlarging “gadgets”, and obscure herbs that will make you the sexual equivalent of a stallion. My friends and I can spend a whole ride from Churchgate to Virar sniggering about these “super-sized” claims, but there are those for whom this business of sex is not a joke.

Like Gajendra, for example. Gajendra has been my istriwala (literally, iron guy. Not Iron Man.) I’ve known Gajendra since he was a teenager helping his father iron and neatly fold mountains of clothes. Soon after, Gajendra got hitched and was under pressure to have kids. A son, to carry on his proud lineage. Numerous attempts were futile, but procreation did not begin. The problem seemed to be that things that need to get hard for procreation to take off, were not getting hard at all.