Kama Sutra: A Guide to the Art of Pleasure

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Penguin Books Limited, Feb 3, 2011 - Health & Fitness - 209 pages
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The ancient guide to life and love, in a compelling modern translation.

The word 'Kama' means desire, especially for sensual pleasure, in Sanskrit. Its proper pursuit was considered an essential part of the well-rounded education of a young patrician. Treating pleasure as an art, Kama Sutra is a handbook covering every aspect of love, sex, the social life and relationships.

We learn that a man can become as virile 'as a bull' by drinking milk mixed with garlic, pepper, licorice and a little sugar. There is succinct, practical advice on seducing a new partner and what to do when a relationship cools off, as well as different types of kissing and caressing, even scratching and biting. We also gain a fascinating insight into the pampered world of the Indian elite two thousand years ago- how often they should bathe and get a massage, or how to behave correctly at a picnic or drinks party.

This new edition of Kama Sutratakes it away from the well-worn image of an erotic, Oriental curiosity. The clear, accurate translation conveys all the original flavour of this elegant, hugely enjoyable work; a masterpiece of pithy description and a wry account of human desires and foibles.

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About the author (2011)

Aditya Narayan Dhairyasheel Haksar was born in central India and educated at the universities of Allahabad and Oxford. A well-known translator of Sanskrit classics, he has also had a distinguished career as a diplomat, serving as Indian high commissioner to Kenya and the Seychelles, minister to the United States and ambassador to Portugal and Yugoslavia. His translations from the Sanskrit include The Shattered Thigh and Other Plays, Hitopadesa, Tales of the Ten Princes, Simhasana Dvatrimsika and Subhashitavali, all published as Penguin Classics. He has also compiled A Treasury of Sanskrit Poetry. Hanif Kureishi is the author of novels (including Something to Tell You, The Buddha of Suburbia, The Black Album and Intimacy), story collections, plays, screenplays, essays and a memoir, My Ear at his Heart.

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