‘So what is it like to work for Playboy?’

‘Oh, not much different than working for Time & Life’.  I answer, alluding to the fact that I had worked for them equally as long.

‘No, I mean what is it that you really do for Playboy?’

‘Oh, I take care of the printing quality of our international editions. Travel a lot and also edit photos.’

‘Edit photos?’

‘Yes, you know, Playboy shoots thousands of photos for every pictorial and Playmates. I select the ones that appear in the international editions. The tastes and the censorship laws differ from country to country.’

‘You mean they are not the same with the text translated?’

‘No, they are individually tailored for the local readership.’

‘Oh. Have you ever met a Playmate? Been to the mansion? Met Hugh Hefner? What’s his daughter Christie like? 

Now relaxed and no longer worried about flunking the test, I indulge the officer with long and detailed answers as if I were briefing one of my new international editors who had just come on board.

Glancing at his wristwatch, he picks up a piece of paper, signs it and hands it to me with: ‘I better let you go before the swearing in begins.’ We shake hands. I thank him and with his ‘Its been pleasure talking with you. Good luck to you!’ I slowly walk out of there. Everyone else have cleared out of the waiting hall except for Carolyn, Denise and Anjuli. They are relieved to see me smiling.

© Haresh Shah

Illustration: Jordan Rutherford

Next Friday, March 15, 2013


Not until four years after I had left Playboy, did it ever cross mind that my leaving issues of Playboy on my living room coffee table, along with half a dozen other magazines I subscribed to would be deemed offensive to some people. It has been as much a part of my life as anything else. An angry outburst from my girlfriend conjured up some funny stories about coffee table display of the magazine.

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