Having debunked the rumour that I recently died, I have another, of even bigger concern to deny – “bigger” being the operative word, and more concerning than death, you might ask? If you’re a guy, you’ll understand.

A survey of more than 1,000 men in India has concluded that condoms made according to international sizes are too large for a majority of Indian men.

This, from a BBC News article, Condoms ‘too big’ for Indian men, has been the bone – sorry, the bane of my existence for the past two weeks. And the subject of many e-mails, mostly from white guys, liberally copying in their address books, and pasting the article below some small joke about size (though you don’t see me complaining about length).

The article spread even to my mother, who is so news illiterate she still thinks Princess Diana was murdered.

“There are people talking in the office, San,” she said over the phone. “They say your penis is small.”


It was a conversation I didn’t want to have with my mum. Again.

In my defence, and that of Indian guys everywhere, who, like me, have been forwarded this article, mocked by their friends and mothers and injured themselves on retracting tape measure, I say this:

It is not the size of the boat, people, it’s the motion of the ocean. And, let’s not forget, that over Indian seas (incidentally the third largest body of water in the world) is birthplace of the Kama Sutra and a billion children.

“From our population, the evidence is Indians are doing pretty well,” says Sunil Mehra, the former editor of the Indian version of men’s magazine Maxin. “With apologies to the poet Alexander Pope, you could say, for inches and centimetres, let fools contend.”