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Monday, July 24, 2006

Rubbers of India

In New Delhi's Nirman Bhavan there is a clock, but it doesn't tell the time. It calculates the cumulative fruits of efforts initiated approximately 280 days ago. The rate of increase is approximately 29 per minute. It would've definitely been faster, if not for inventions called contraceptives. The most popular and visible form of this restrictive yet propagative is prophylactics which in more comprehensible terminology are called rubbers, love gloves, jimmy hats, raincoats or simply, condoms.

Condoms as HeadgearIt was the revelation of the underlying meaning of the classic "Pyar hua iqrar hua, pyar se phir kyon darta hain dil (Love happened, acceptance happened. Why does the heart then fear love?)," with the addition "Deluxe Nirodh aath aane mein teen (Deluxe Nirodh/condoms three for 50 paise)," that I became aware of the existence of the rubber sheath. The ad has the greatest recall value amongst all contraceptive advertisements in India. We kids loved it and put a price on our classmates, 50p for 3 - cheap. But one condom cost soft drink major Pepsi dear - Rs. 1,23,000 to be precise.

What began as a protection against insect bites, infection and injury some 3300 years ago has evolved into coloured, flavoured, ribbed, dotted and I don't know how many different varieties - almost customised for individual needs and moods. The land of the KS - the Vatsayana one, is also the land of the KS - the Pooja Bedi and Viveka Babajee one. In India the use of the rubber isn't limited to prevention of procreation. Keeping in line with the glorious tradition of producing electricity using tractors and using washing machines to make lassi, Indians use it in the finishing if Benarasi silk sarees, to provide a smooth finish to tarred roads, waterproofing ceilings against the monsoon onslaught and also to carry water to the fields to answer the call of nature. Blowing balloons is one of the intended purposes.

Says Rama Kant of King George's Medical University, Lucknow,

"The lubricant in latex-made condoms comes in handy for giving a smooth finish and shine to Benaras silk saris. For waterproofing, condoms are cut and spread under the cement-concrete mortar above ceilings; and as for roads, large quantities of condoms are mixed with tar-concrete in hot-mix plants to churn out a high quality road finish product."

This solves the riddle of the millions spent in free condom distribution not reflecting in the rate of growth of population and the incidence of HIV/AIDS. And we thought that Indians got hyperactive in bed with the availability of free protection. Given the qualities of the condom such unintended use is unavoidable.

A quality condom can easily stretch over three feet (now you know what to think when someone says that it doesn't fit) and it can also hold up to 12 litres of water or three bags of potatoes before bursting.

Nowadays we welcome the richest man in the world with an eight foot condom and also get it as a reward for getting a haircut. At the same time we had governments restricting condom advertising on the national broadcaster asking people to focus on abstinence and single partner relationships. The next government again shifted the focus on the rubber. Abstinence does not even work amongst the avowed celibates and power and single partner relationships do not seem to go together. Recent scandals and hidden camera acts have added credence to what everyone knew for long.

Sometimes a little off-track application puts the doer as well the doctor in some trouble.

A 27-year-old lady presented with persistent cough, sputum and fever for the preceding six months. Inspite of trials with antibiotics and anti-tuberculosis treatment for the preceding four months, her symptoms did not improve. A subsequent chest radiograph showed non-homogeneous collapse-consolidation of right upper lobe. Videobronchoscopy revealed an inverted bag like structure in right upper lobe bronchus and rigid bronchoscopic removal with biopsy forceps confirmed the presence of a condom. Detailed retrospective history also confirmed accidental inhalation of the condom during fellatio.

Moral of the story: A blowjob can blow up your medical bills (Suggest more morals).

One of the major obstacles which youngsters face with condoms is not about using them but acquiring them, especially from a medical store. Matters are made worse if there is an elderly gentleman or a woman manning the store. If you've seen the movie Anubhav (no not the one from 1971 directed by Basu Bhattacharya, but the 1986 one which has a gawky Shekhar Suman in the lead role opposite Padmini Kohlapure) you will know what I exactly mean.

Many like to stock an emergency rubber in the wallet. But it is always advisable to keep on replacing the stock at short intervals. The daily friction which the wallet has to go through, especially if you're in a habit of keeping your wallet in the rear pocket of you trousers/jeans, takes its toll on the otherwise sturdy and flexible latex. A friend had to retreat from an escapade as the wallet-stocked sheath gave away immediately after application. He had been carrying it for months in hope. This joke gives a different perspective to condom storage and why you shouldn't be putting it in the wallet (many must have heard it before, but it is still funny):

My wonderful girlfriend and I had been dating for over a year, and so we decided to get married.

There was only one little thing bothering me.it was her beautiful younger sister.

My prospective sister-in-law was twenty-two, wore very tight miniskirts and generally was braless. She would regularly bend down when she was near me, and I always got more than a pleasant view of her private parts. It had to be deliberate. She never did it when she was near anyone else.

One day "little" sister called and asked me to come over to check The wedding invitations. She was alone when I arrived, and she whispered to me that she had feelings and desires for me that she couldn't overcome. She told me that she wanted to make love to me just once Before I got married and committed my life to her sister.

Well, I was in total shock, and couldn't say a word. She said, 'I'm going upstairs to my bedroom, and if you want one last wild fling, Just come up and get me." I was stunned and frozen in shock as I watched her go up the stairs. When she reached the top she pulled off her panties and threw them down the stairs at me.

I stood there for a moment, then turned and made a beeline straight to the front door. I opened the door, and headed straight towards my car.

Lo and behold, my entire future family was standing outside, all clapping! With tears in his eyes, my father-in-law hugged me and said, 'We are very happy that you have passed our little test.... we couldn't ask for better man for our daughter. Welcome to the family."

And the moral of this story is:

"Always keep your condoms in your car!"

This guy also has a nice take on condom storage and related stuff.

An administrative folly did try to put a restrictive barrier on us Indian bloggers but that was very unlike the good condom. The rubber doesn't restrict the fun (the new ones add to the experience) but stops us from the regretting later. The rubbers of India are many and varied and so is the propaganda practice. The real purpose of this post was to bring together at one place, the best (that I could lay my hands, make that cursor, on) of rubbery India.

The big Indian condom story began back in 1966 when the largest manufacturer of contraceptives in the country - Hindustan Latex Limited - was established. It was in 1991, the sultry side of the rubber industry in India came to the fore with the introduction of Kamasutra condoms by JK Chemicals - now JK Ansell (ask for KS and the chemist understands, ask for KS and the bookseller understands). Ask the panwallah and he'll show you varieties which Google cannot find. This is what I could manage with Google. My panwallah didn't let me photograph his stock (Other stuff that I found in old magazines will make it to this blog in a different post.)

Condom packets have written on them - for single use only - right. Condoms are purchased by an individual for his personal purposes, but like all other things you can buy in bulk and save a little. But a FAMILY PACK of condoms! A family pack means that the whole family can use it or do they mean that these are intended for starting a family. As Rishi (Rahul Bose) in Jhankar Beats suggested - condoms for NOT family planning. But condoms in a 'family' pack? That's taking things a little too far.

Family Pack

If you thought that male condoms are only of the latex type (no I'm not talking flavoured or dotted, that's for later), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences tells me that there are four:
* Natural skin condom: Made from lamb intestine, rarely used nowadays. It provides better sensation, but does not protect from infection. Most viruses can cross natural membrane
* Latex condoms: 0.3 - 0.8 mm thick - sperms and organisms causing STIs cannot pass through these condoms.
* Poly-urethane condoms: These are odourless, have greater sensitivity and resistance to deterioration from storage and lubricants. Individuals with latex allergy can use poly-urethane condoms.
* Silicon rubber condom: thicker and less popular (does Pamela Anderson have anything to do with it?)

If you're unsure of how to use them but can't read the fine print on the cardboard covers, or you've already cut them up and pasted the pictures on your 'hot' scrap book then there's Condom Sutra for you with all it's gyaan.

And this one has been 'Specially made for Government of India.' Since the product is 'lubricated' it does make some sense.

Norodh - Specially made for the Government of India

Some Indian condom brands:

Zaroor
Zaroor

So
So

Hi-Life
Hi-Life

Privent
Privent

Moments
Moments

Bigdom
Bigdom

Green Love
Green Love (Is it eco-friendly?)

Kohinoor
Kohinoor

Moods
Moods

Masti
Masti

Kamasutra
Kamasutra

Super Deluxe Nirodh
Super Deluxe Nirodh

Deluxe Nirodh
Deluxe Nirodh

Senorita
Senorita

Adam
Adam (only if Adam used one)

Nymph
Nymph

Rakshak
Rakshak

Ustad
Ustad

Share
Share

Casanova
Casanova (He used to use protection)

And some varieties within

Kohinoor

Kohinoor
Multi-variety

Moods


Spiral


Ribbed


Coloured


All night extra time


Strawberry flavoured


Ultra thin


Scented - Rose, Musk, Jasmine


Chocolate Flavoured


Dotted supreme


Extra long

Kamasutra


Peppermint Flavoured


Flavoured


Climax Control Dotted


Dual Textured


Super Thin


Ribbed


Dotted


Contoured


Studded


Sport - Mixed Berry


Strawberry Flavoured


Form Fitted


Sport - Coloured


Strawberry Ribbed


Extra Pleasure

A condom vending machine



The manufacturing machinery


Condom manufacturing line


Condom making

And some print ads

















What about some television commercials?

Kohnioor
1. A couple laterally set their house on fire. [Download 3.17 MB AVI 00:01:20]
2. Extra time - that goes on and on and on and on ... [Download 1.88 MB WMV 00:01:20]

Kamasutra
The double meaning series
1. Waiting room [View Flash | WMV | RM]
2. Executive lunch [View Flash | WMV | RM]
3. Hospital [View Flash | WMV | RM]

KS Oldies
1. Pooja Bedi and Marc Robinson playing chess [View Flash | WMV | RM]
2. Pooja Bedi in the shower [View Flash | WMV | RM]
3. Viveka Babajee - under the waterfall [View Flash | WMV | RM]

Raj and Rishi finally get their one-liner in Jhankaar Beats and I repeat - Better safe than worry.

Addition #1
Yahi Hain Sahi (This is Right) - Condom promotion campaign



View TVC storyboard
| Watch television commercial [RM 00:00:41]

Addition #2
Safe sex ad


Image courtesy: DFID UK

Addition #3
A rubber vendor


Image courtesy: Asian Sex Gazette

Addition #4
Kamasutra Print Ads











Addition #5
More KS Ads





Addition #6
The World's First Condom Bike
By who else but an Indian - K Sudhakar of Sudha Cars, Hyderabad. Pictured here sitting atop his condom bike (wonder if the material used is the same) on November 28, 2002.



Addition #7
Reader's contribution: Dwaipayan of Meaningless Crap has sent the following featuring an article on condom campaigns in India (HT Sunday Magazine July 9, 2006).

Click on the images for a larger view















Addition #8
A history of the evolution of social marketing of contraceptives in India is available here

Addition #9
This page contains a collection of audio-visual spots on HIV/AIDS produced by ILO UNAIDS & BBC World Service Trust - NACO - Doordarshan. The videos are downloadable and are in Real Media format.

Addition #10 (August 18, 2006)
What do you have with your morning tea (besides tea)? Newspapers. Now add some action to that. According to Hindustan Times the Andhra Pradesh State Aids Control Society is planning to deliver a condom-a-day (in strawberry-coloured packaging) with the morning paper.

"We thought that delivering the condoms with newspapers would be the surest way of reaching people. We are talking to newspaper distributors and hawkers to pitch in for this social cause," said AIDS control officer Dr Dinesh.

The authorities hope to distribute 10,000 condoms a day with the newspapers. The target groups are people living in poorer localities and migrant workers. While the bulk of the condoms would be delivered with the morning daily, a small number would be distributed along with a locally-published evening newspaper.


Addition #11 (November 10, 2006)
Flavoured condoms are a hot favourite. But censors (as usual) do not like the 'taste' of it.
Authorities want to stop the daytime airing of a television advertisement promoting flavoured condoms saying it is obscene and in bad taste, a newspaper reported on Friday.

The advert promotes DKT's "XXX" strawberry, chocolate and banana flavoured condoms with the catchline "What is your flavour of the night?"

...

"This campaign is obscene," Sharmila Tagore, chairwoman of the Censor Board was quoted as saying in the Times of India. "Maybe DKT is targeting raunchy teenagers. But the ads are definitely not meant for children."

...

A senior DKT official told the newspaper the flavoured condoms were not meant to promote oral sex, but to encourage couples who do not like the smell of latex.


Addition #12 (November 18, 2006)

These are courtesy Shivam
Narendra Modi pic on Condoms Pack

Health kits containing contraceptive pills, chlorene tablets, ORS packets and condoms are being distributed by the Gujarat government.

The goodies are from Chief Minister Narendra Modi and even his picture graces the kit.

...

"He puts his photographs on food packets for those affected by the floods in Surat. Now it is even on condom packets, it is embarrassing," said Arjun Modhwadia, Congress leader.

But the government says its intentions are noble and even though it has unfortunately got nicknamed the Modi condom, the plan has worked.



The next is from Hindustan Times (They desperately need to do something about their websearch and archiving. So no link to the original story, only excerpts from the text).
Protection is not really Narendra Modi's forte

By Ruchir Joshi
Hindustan Times
July 6, 2006

Having not yet seen the goods myself, I don't know if Narendra Modi's
face is printed only on the cartons, whether it's resplendent on each
individual packet or, indeed, also embossed like a royal profile on
the business end of each condom itself. What I do know is that Modi
and Ashok Bhatt, the Health Minister, both seem eager to try and get
ever deeper into the lives of the citizens of Gujarat.

(The story isn't condom centric, it's just used as an excuse for another unending round of Modi bashing. All the media bashings doesn't seem to have done the man any harm)

38 Comments:

dwaipayan said...

hmmm....good research.. but wouldn't it be better if u put up a spoiler before this post? however, there's a question.. does al the pics from someone's( read your) personal collection??
:P

thalassa_mikra said...

Fantastic post! Did that first picture (of the girl with the condom hat) come from the Thai safe sex campaign? They do an amazing job with promoting condom awareness. Here's more info on the famous Cabbages and Condoms restaurant (a friend of mine had interned with the organization that runs the place).

http://www.cabbagesandcondoms.co.th/

Also, I'm sure you're aware that all Durex condoms are made in India.

I'm amazed at the number of condom brands in India. I had no idea there were so many.

Anonymous said...

Lots of research seems to have gone into this post, and well you should also have put some "pine print" after your post. I never knew one could pine in print or is it that the print is pining or anything to do with pine trees. They also ooze !!!
You sure dug up archival stuff.

Soumyadip said...

Dwaipayan Spoiler, about what? Do you mean that I should forewarn the reader about the pictorial content of this post beforehand? Don't think that there is a need to. This is all kid's stuff by today's standards.

Thalassa Mikra Don't know the actual source of the picture. I happened to find it on my hard disk. Chances are that it is from the source you mentioned.

I knew that TTK-LIG the manufacturers of Kohinoor also produce Durex, but had no idea that all Durex condoms are made in India. In fact there are many more, but couldn't find images to support my claims.

Anonymous Fine becomes pine. It takes a pine eye like yours to point that out. Fixed. And the pine ooze had nothing to do with it. By the way, pine ooze makes a good glue.

Shashwat said...

Very interesting read and congratulations to you on such a wonderful and successful research!

dwaipayan said...

well soumyadip, i said that only for some real kids..but anyway, spoilers always attract more attention..

and there seems no comment from you about the latter part of my earlier comment..
:P

Swapna said...

Wow... Interesting.

Kingsley said...

OMFG. That's an awesome gallery.

educatedunemployed said...

So many Indian Brands??!! Whoa.:)

Anup Mankar said...

brilliant post...and the condom bike at the end and the stupido riding it is pure gold.

PRASHANT SINGH said...

good research indeed !! hats off to
you man .
hope to see you at blogger meet

V. said...

good article but quote the sources whenever you copy the article ro part thereoff. That will be so nice to have.

Brian Pigeon said...

Jesus Christ. Must've taken you ages!

Soumyadip said...

Shashwat Thanks.

Dwaipayan Yes, they do. Next time I post something similar, I'll try to incorporate your suggestion.

Kingsley 'OMFG' this is the kind of response I wanted. Thanks.

EducatedUnemployed There are more. But couldn't collect them.

Anup Mankar Thanks and that guy was just trying to spread the message of safe sex. But how safe the bike is, is another story.

Prashant Singh Thanks. Looking forward to meeting you too.

V. Thanks for your emphasis on source citing. I believe that I did it - in internet style - by putting hyperlinks. If it was footnotes that you were looking for, I'll give it a try the next time. But if the stuff is available on the net, putting a link does more good and also adds some Google dollars to the source's kitty.

Brian Pigeon Three to four days of late night work on the PC to collect the stuff and another to upload them. For a blog post (by me) that is a long time.

Anonymous said...

A very good site. Good layouts and hot pages :)

Everything in Transit said...

I felt like I was in health class all over again. We had to, er, practice putting condoms on..err..fake things and know every function.

I see that you didn't mention female condoms? :P

dwaipayan said...

hey, i just checked the additions...and yeh.. good job..
but that bike.. weirdo. but anyway, that can serve as dual purpose. get the bike and just ask ur girl, wanna ride??

single gal said...

great job!
love it - keep it up (figuratively and literally).
-single gal

navneet said...

double meaning adds are great!!!!!!!
just brings smile !!

K said...

Man, you are seriously vela! Great post!

MAHARAJADHIRAJ said...

Hard facts never sounded so funny!!! Way to go Raincoat Man!

Anonymous said...

i have only one thing to repeat... the BJP should
change its party emblem from a lotus flower to a condom... cause it stands for inflation, protects a bunch of pricks,
halts production and gives a false sense of security while one is being screwed

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have some condom related articles which I wish to post onto your site.

Could you pls tell me how I may post these to your blog.

Thanks and b regards,

Anil

Soumyadip said...

Anonymous 1 Worked real hard on the layout (not bad for a novice, that's what I told myself). Thanks.

Everything in Transit Here they never taught us anything like that. It was just peer propagated knowledge.

No mention about female condoms is because I'm yet to see one.

Dwaipayan With a bike like that, you're riding on your intentions.

Single Gal Figuratively I'll try, and literal failures can be taken care of by the blue pill.

Navneet We are the kings of the dual mean. But doing it well takes some effort. The KS ads (TVCs) are explicit examples.

K With the Big K saying that I have to give myself a pat on the back.

Maharajadhiraj 'Raincoat Man' nice one. Just hoping that everyone doesn't begin calling me that.

Anonymous 2 Like KS said there isn't a condom for the pen neither is there one for the politicos. By the way it was the previous government which had taken condom advertising off DD and changed the focus of the AIDS campaign.

Anonymous 3/Anil You're welcome to send in your contributions. Just mail the stuff at the email id mentioned in my profile (on the right panel) and I'll put them up (with due credit of course).

achy said...

i am a public health doctor and my job is to profess safe sex to prevent HIV/AIDS. must congratulate yu fr this extensive well stuffed article. many more should come.. say something on female condoms, next time.

dwaipayan said...

oh u are gonna give credits to the contributors??
in that case i'll mail u an article on condome ads which was published on the sunday mag of hindustan times.

Anonymous said...

happy to see the amount of research, a very unique topic and well covered at that.....!!

Jim said...

Very educational, thanks :-)

This is getting pedantic, but it's "silicone rubber". There actually is an exotic materical called silicon rubber, but it's more like a truck tyre (there, that would def. kill the mood!)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous information! Brought on many smiles and awe at the amount of research done. Hope to read more.

dwaipayan said...

it feels good to see my little contribution in such a rocking post.. but at the same time it made me understand how bad i'm at photography!!!

Mahesh Shantaram said...

Great research. More power to you... in every way :)

Erik Mann said...

great topic, keep up the great posts, MMA

Kalyan said...

Whether the excuse is for Modi bashing or not, your extensive research(and continuing with it still) on the object/subject is really admirable!

Anonymous said...

excellent collection. One information from my side. Why do the call the brand Durex?.. its durability, reliability and excellence. Hats off to you for your passion.

el_fuego_azul said...

Fabulous information! Brought on many smiles

Bosch Vacuum said...

Pretty incredible stuff. Didn't realize all that about rubbers in India.

learnhackz said...

thanks

Saurabh said...

Hi your research is really good.
Actually I am looking for a advertisement that came in India for condom promotion which showed people covering their things with polythene like using plastic cover on car seats etc. but do not use a cover where it is required.
I have done my best to search that commercial but didnt find it. If you have some idea reagarding it and where I can find it, it would be of great help in my research on Indian commercials on condoms.