Growing Up

Story of how I ended up starting

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I was reading a news item in The Telegraph yesterday, and apparently, there are at least 300 positions in sex. Oops, that didn`t come out as intended. Let me retry. I was reading a news item in The Telegraph yesterday, and apparently, there are at least 300 positions available in the British sex industry.

How do I know? Because an “adult chat line company” has advertised all over the United Kingdom for these 300+ positions, and it is being discussed in the British Parliament as well.

Anyway, I would like to seize this opportunity and share with you the fact that the porn industry has a major role to play in’s presence. Here is how:

When I was in class seven, in Kendriya Vidhyalaya Ballygunge, Kolkata, a few of my classmates had access to ‘Baywatch`. This was way before Priyanka Chopra got associated with ‘Baywatch’.

Priyanka Chopra Rock in Baywatch
Priyanka Chopra and Rock in Baywatch movie. Image Courtesy: Indian Express

Every day these privileged kids would discuss ‘Baywatch’ and its star Pamela Anderson and the rest of the kids, which included me, would listen in rapt attention. With time, the discussions turned to soft porn, and then hardcore. I had access to these concepts of sex only through the four friends who watched ‘Baywatch’ at home. It was as if I was Dhritarashtra and there were four Sanjays explaining to me what sex was.

Things didn’t change when I was 16 years old. Not having seen porn till I was 16 was a huge cause for concern. I think that`s why I couldn`t be a good student or a good son. Maybe that`s why I used to steal the centre-spreads of magazines as docile as Grih Shobha. And maybe that`s why I wanted to become a cameraman of a porn movie once I grew up. Needless to say, I kept my ambition a secret and whenever elders asked the obnoxious question, I said: “I want to become a doctor when I grow up!”

My life changed in the second year of college – that`s 1996. One rich classmate took me to a cyber cafe and showed me how nirvana could be attained inside a 2-feet-by-2-feet cubicle of a cyber cafe. I might as well have taken up sniffing cocaine…at least I could have taken refuge in a Drug Rehabilitation Center.

Having seen porn up close, by now I had realized that being a camera man in a porn movie wasn`t that good an idea. Now, I wanted to be the hero of the movie. I immediately subscribed for ‘Employment News,` a weekly newspaper that came up with a list of job opportunities available. Three weeks later, I came to know that recruitment for the porn industry happened in the dark alleys and not via ‘Employment News`. I did try hanging around dark alleys and spending time with drug dealers but to no avail.

On my last day in a dark alley, I did meet a porn movie director who was willing to make me the hero of his movie.

Everything was going on well, when he asked, “What is your take on horses?”

“I like horses,” I said.

Even before I had finished my sentence, I knew what he was getting at. I fled the spot like a race horse which wanted to pee and never come back.

Back then, if you visited a porn site, you could only see pictures and that too after wading through a list of directories with blue hyperlinks & avoiding traps that would cheekily ask you for your credit card details. That the internet speeds were pathetic helped collection & cooperation among the connoisseurs of the art called ‘watching porn`. The full image would download in 3-4 minutes and even before it had downloaded half, one would start trying out the right click of the mouse to save it in the appropriate folder. The folders were mostly named – Asian, Latinos, Blacks, Celebs, Straight, Lesbians etc. Those that were creative named their folders Hardly-Can-See, Can-See-Little, Lots-to-See, Anna Kournikova, Bombs-Not-For-Kids etc.

Since accessing & downloading the photos was a costly and time-consuming affair, true connoisseurs of the art opted for co-option. “You give me what you got….and I will give you what I have got.” And the World was one friendly place. I think the rejection of Floppy Disks and quick adoption of CDs (in less than a year) was because of this need to share & store sexy photos for posterity.

As a BA Economics third year student, I saw immense potential in the porn industry – I mean 52% of the World`s population was our potential customers. And the other 48% (women) could continue to lie, but who were we to complain as long as a cash registers continued to ring?

With no prior experience, I didn`t know how I could create a porn industry start up. Does one start with foreplay? Or does one rush right into it? That`s when I had realized that both a relationship and an entrepreneurial venture raise the same set of questions.

I laid out my plan in front of my friends. The idea was to start a porn website for Indians, with Indian content. Once our plan was ready, we shared it with our Micro Economics Professor, who liked the idea and said he was willing to head the Quality Control Department. In fact, the good Samaritan that he was, he offered his time for free.

“But sir, what about ethics? Is starting a porn website OK? Aren`t we screwing up people`s lives?”

That`s when he said something that changed my outlook towards the porn industry forever. He said: “Gentlemen, three things. If it weren`t for porn, our streets would be a lot more dangerous for our women.”

“And the second, Sir?”

“If it weren`t for porn, our men would have never known what to do when they met a lady.”

“And the third, sir?”

“Incidents like the holocaust, world wars, nuclear bombs, Amway, Tupperware dealership etc have screwed more people than the porn industry ever can.”

We were excited by the professor`s encouragement and immediately promised to make him the head of our Quality Control department.

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We were working on the execution plan when we came to know that someone else had gone live with an India-specific porn site called It was a mere coincidence that he was the Micro Economics Professor`s ex-student. To make matters worse, the site had already caught on among Indians both in India and abroad. We dropped our plan to start a porn website and for our daily supplies, started depending on

After college, I joined The Indian Express. After being a sports journalist with them for a year and a half, where I almost always dreamt of starting a classy porn newspaper, I quit.

Actually, the trigger for me quitting was a discussion with my father.

“How are the people at the newspaper?”

“OK dad. Not as classy as one would expect, but alright.”

“Always make it a point to stick around classy people. We don`t have class in our family…so we need classy people around us. It rubs on, you know?”

“Sure, dad. I agree.”

“You just agree or you doing something about it?”

“Yes dad. I am doing something about it. I am moving to the porn industry. I have heard people are classier there.”

“How so? Porn industry is all about writing erotic articles and publishing them on paper even the cows would refuse to eat. Right?”

“No dad. It has changed a lot since your times. We no longer read literature. A few years back we had still images but now there are videos too.”

“What? Videos? Where can I see them?”

That day was started with the intention of making it the classiest porn site in the World. And we are slowly getting there. Hold your horses!